Coached into Silence featured in the New York Times

New York Times article "Coaching Gives Abusers Opportunity and Trust"

Chris Gavagan, a filmmaker who is making a documentary on sexual abuse in sports called “Coached Into Silence,” based largely on abuse he said he endured from a youth hockey coach starting when he was 14, is among those who believe the problems for boys in sports are much larger than suspected. Not only does it happen more than people want to think, he said, but the culture of sports works against a child trying to report it.

“Sexually abused boys are going to be the most silent group,” Gavagan said, adding that the allegations involving Sandusky, if true, fit a familiar pattern.

“With the whole macho atmosphere of sports, it seems to be the perfect storm of circumstances,” he said. “There’s the cult of personality that keep these guys the kings of their little kingdoms, the sense of hero worship. The kinds of things Sandusky was offering those boys is every boy’s dream — trips to bowl games, going down on the field. It allows these things to go on for a long time. And when you don’t tell someone the first time it happens, you already feel complicit.”

Gavagan has become involved in the rush to respond to the allegations against Sandusky and Fine, including testifying in front of a Pennsylvania legislative committee supporting laws requiring people to formally report to the authorities any allegations of sex abuse.

There are the stories that we write...

…and there are the stories that write us

A chance meeting with a hockey coach over twenty years ago uniquely qualified screenwriter Christopher Gavagan to tell this nonfiction tale. 

In producing & directing Coached into Silence, Gavagan tells the stories of a diverse group of boys from every corner of this country whom the system failed to protect. Far more sinister than those failures of prevention, this documentary will shed light on the organizational, institutional and legal systems which have conspired in attempting to silence the victims for life while protecting profits, reputations and in some cases, the predators themselves.

These courageous survivors refuse to be silenced. 

Coached into Silence will show a way to take back authorship of the rest of our lives, while writing a safer and more just future for the next generation. 

When prevention fails, the children pay the price.