The former England rugby player Brian Moore's decision to speak out about the sexual abuse he suffered as a child was welcomed by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) yesterday. In a statement, the charity said: "It is good that high-profile people are willing to speak out about abuse. We hope it encourages others who have suffered, or are suffering, abuse to come forward."
This followed Moore saying in yesterday's Daily Telegraph that he had become "an emotional cripple" as a result of being given up for adoption as a baby and being sexually abused by a teacher while at primary school. His ordeal began when he and three other boys, aged nine and 10, were abused while on a school camping trip. It did not stop there. The abuse was to continue in the class storeroom back at school.
"If you have been abused, you feel tainted by association with the awfulness of the crime," he said. "Anyone with similar issues will understand that it is possible to come across as bullish, argumentative, forceful, mouthy and yet be absolutely crippled emotionally.
"It's the compensation mechanism," added the 47-year-old former England hooker. Nicknamed "Pitbull", Moore was regarded as one of the toughest players of his generation in a Grand-Slam winning career during which he won 64 caps.
He is the second high-profile rugby player to reveal personal mental anguish in recent weeks. Last month the former Wales and British Lions captain Gareth Thomas described how he became suicidal while trying to come to terms with being gay: "Sometimes I felt so alone and depressed. I used to go to the cliffs overlooking the beach and think about jumping off and ending it all."