Sarah Abitbol
With "So long a silence", Sarah Abitbol breaks the omerta on sexual violence © Aglaé Bory

Long a victim of traumatic amnesia, the French Sarah Abitbol is emerging from silence today. The former 44-year-old figure skating champion, who has lived in Florida for several years, reveals in her book "Un si long silence", published on January 30, that she was raped between 1990 and 1992 by her trainer Gilles Beyer when she was a minor. " I was only 15 years old and I dreamed of Prince Charming but my life was brutally broken, making me plunge into long years of suffering ", says Sarah Abitbol with great emotion.

At the time, the Frenchwoman wrote her trauma on the pages of a notebook through coded messages. " I indicated the days, the hours and above all letters that represented the sexual abuse that I suffered "Says the former figure skater who has decided to speak today. " It took a long time but I finally managed to reopen this notebook last June following a click I had while watching the film "The consolation" adapted from the eponymous novel by Flavie Flament, she explains. I recognized myself in her and I mostly saw a woman who manages to speak with impunity when I was trapped in shame and guilt ".

For example, in "So Long Silence", Sarah Abitbol delivers a poignant account of the sexual abuse she says she suffered from her trainer whom she calls "Mr. O" because of the prescription of the facts. " Above all, I no longer have the strength to pronounce his name, she adds. Thanks to this book, which also addresses my long process of reconstruction, I was finally able to ask the words that I have not managed to get out so far, which I hope will allow me to raise my head in order to heal ".

Following its revelations, the quadra has been invited for several days on all the television sets in France and continues the interviews. " I feel great support, love and above all positivity and I take this as a victory with a lot of pride even if all this is extremely exhausting Says Sarah Abitbol. The Frenchwoman also refused the recent apologies from her former coach, who acknowledged "inappropriate relationships". " He half-considered that he had acted while I am talking about rapes, is indignant Sarah Abitbol. I don't apologize and I will never forgive her ".

The former figure skating champion, who is planning to return to Florida soon, also wishes to have her work translated into English in order to convey her message to American sports institutions. " It is important to educate parents, clubs, educators by doing prevention, insists she. I hope this speech will bear fruit in order to protect potential future victims and above all so that history never happens again ".


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