‘I am a survivor’: NRL referee opens up in fight against child abuse

‘I am a survivor’: NRL referee opens up in fight against child abuse

January 4, 2019

NRL referee Gavin Badger has taken to social media to reveal he was the victim of sexual abuse as a child.

Badger opened up about the issue for the first time by posting a message on Instagram on Thursday night (AEDT) from Bali, where he was participating in a charity event to raise funds to fight child abuse.

Proud: Kasey Badger, right, has praised her husband Gavin after he revealed he was a survivor of child abuse.Credit:James Brickwood

"The first week of January is child abuse awareness week, a subject very close to my heart," he wrote. "It’s not something I have ever put out there publicly, but I feel comfortable enough to finally say it out loud: 'I am a survivor of child sexual abuse'."

The senior referee, who has been in charge of more than 300 NRL games, paid tribute to the struggles of all abuse survivors.

"I feel like I am one of the fortunate ones though as 2000 people a day die from child abuse, by either suicide or at the hands of their abuser," Badger said.

Badger's wife Kasey, who is also an NRL referee, expressed her support and admiration for her husband, also via social media.

"I could not be prouder of the man I get to call my husband," she replied on Twitter.

Badger spoke about his experience after participating in a Paddle Against Child Abuse event in Bali.

The event, founded by endurance athlete, Bachelorette contestant and abuse survivor Damien Rider, works to raise awareness of child abuse.

It is based on Rider's experience of paddling from the Gold Coast to Sydney in 2015.

Badger also expressed his support for Project Karma, a charity that describes its mission as fighting against child sex abuse both in Australia and in South East Asia.

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