Sky Sports News Presenter Charlie Webster Reveals She Was Sexually Assaulted

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistJanuary 15, 2014

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - MARCH 08:  General Views of Bramall Lane Stadium prior to the npower Championship match between Sheffield United and Nottingham Forest at Bramall Lane on March 8, 2011 in Sheffield, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Jon Furniss/Invision/AP

Sky Sports News presenter Charlie Webster has revealed she was sexually abused by her athletics coach at the age of 15.

Webster, now 31, said she wishes to "break the taboo about abuse as a whole" in an honest interview with Phil Williams of BBC Radio 5, as reported by the organisation's website:

I got quite close to the running coach because you do.

You start to trust them when you're a young kid, and he started to take me for a few private sessions because he said I was good and I could do with some extra sessions because that would really help.

Webster went on to describe her abuser as "a male role model" during her teens and talked about the manner in which he controlled the situation to meet his intentions.

"You should never touch a young girl anyway, but he very, very manipulatively and very slowly sexually assaulted me," Webster said.

The Sheffield-born television presenter's ordeal came to a halt when a younger girl alerted the police.

Webster, a former employee for ESPN and Setanta Sports, also discussed why she decided to speak about her past in the exchange with Williams.

In hindsight, Webster says she didn't realise how severe the situation was at the time of its occurrence, per the BBC's report:

Not one time in my head did I think 'I'm being sexually assaulted,' because if I did, I would have done something about it.

That's why I'm here [speaking on radio] as well. It might help someone else bring it to light. I want to break the taboo about abuse as a whole.

Webster is now gearing up to tackle a week-long trek between 40 English football stadiums to help Women's Aid, a charity that aims to combat domestic violence against women and children in the U.K.

While Webster's abuser was put on the sex offenders register for life and received a jail sentence of 10 years, the presenter's decision to confront these tough issues may push other victims to put their abusers behind bars.

Understandably, Webster received droves of support for her bravery on Twitter, something she quickly responded to on the social media site:

Awareness of such issues is rarely raised by someone in the public eye, so Webster's decision to confront a difficult chapter in her life should be applauded.