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Stopping abuse and harassment in sport

Stopping abuse and harassment in sport

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Stopping abuse and harassment in sport

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  1. Stopping abuse and harassment in sport Dr. Sandra Kirby Professor Emerita University of Winnipeg March 20, 2019

  2. Who am I? • sport scientist for athlete safeguarding • Safe Sport International (SSI) Founding Board • Olympian • Researcher in safe sport since 1993 • IOC Consensus Statement developments (2005-2016) • UNICEF - violence against children publications • First national study in the world on sh/a in high performance sport and first book. • Many publications

  3. The Long Goal? • So all can participate in a respectful and equitable sport environment free from all forms of violence • So all participants have a positive, enabling, safe and joyful experience in sport

  4. “There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way it treats its children” -Nelson Mandela

  5. Safe Sport: Overview • 1. Give a brief overview of the field • 2. Provide definitions and their contexts in sport • 3. Present baseline data – what we know from the research • 4. Where do we go from here?

  6. Why sport? Overview 2. • Sport is • -vehicle for holistic growth and dev.; enjoyment and fulfillment • -where the children are – in every country • -important to the building of cultures, of nations • -sport is important to the ethos and future of Canada • -home to many cases of abuse of athletes, including sexual abuse • -where sport related efforts and initiatives fragmented, piece-meal and uncoordinated ( redundancy and cross-purpose; less scrutiny) • -may have a privileged status  and escape the common scrutiny

  7. Starting on principles Overview 1. Who is more at risk? Starting with the human rights perspective • UN Declaration on Human Rights +++++ and Canada as signatory • e.g. Child rights in sport linked to child rights in other domains UNCRC 1989 • e.g. the Girl Child (1995) • e.g. UNCRP with Disabilities • e.g. UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples • Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms – the law • Sport in Canada – our stated values

  8. Who is at risk? All ages and types are susceptible to intended harm in sport – but especially: • Elite athletes • Child athletes; particularly the girl child • Para athletes • LGBT+ athletes • Indigenous athletes • Economically, geographically, linguistically, ethnically etc. marginalized • *Note: overlapping categories

  9. Adults also at risk • Vulnerability is seen as situational and not explicitly that of an individual • Self-neglect • Domestic abuse • Discriminatory • Organisational • Physical • Sexual • Financial/material • Neglect and acts of omission • Emotional or psychological • (Reference, UK legislation, the Care Act 2014)

  10. 2. Definitions: what harm? 2. Definitions: what harm? • The IOC Consensus Statement: harassment and abuse (non-accidental violence) in sport 2016 (Canadians Kirby, Mountjoy) • Psychological– THE gateway to non-accidental violence  intended harms • Non-sexual and gender harassment – e.g. Pasternak twins… • Sexual harassment and abuse • Racial and homophobic discrimination • Physical abuse & forced exertion (physical, deprivation, dangerous training) • Neglect • Interpersonal violence – bullying and hazing • Disordered eating • Self-harm

  11. Safe Sport definitions: BJSports-2016-Sept-50-17-1010-F1

  12. 3 more terms Gender-based violence  Abuse of power and control over another person based upon their gender identity, gender expression or perceived gender • The Government of Canada’s It’s Time: Canada’s Strategy to Prevent and Address Gender-Based Violence (2017) laid our foundation to build upon existing efforts and sets a direction for further research and practice.  Non-accidental harm  perpetrated against athletes knowingly or deliberately or negligently (Brackenridge, 2016:3) • Runs counter to successful athletic performance Maltreatment Volitional acts that have the potential to result in harm • Intent of the perpetrator is irrelevant in all cases

  13. 3. Baseline data • 22.8% high performance athletes had sexual intercourse with persons in authority over them in sport (Kirby) • 2-8% of children in sport are victims of sexual abuse (Parent) • 81% of 10,000 participants experienced homophobia in sport (7 countries); verbal (13-16%), physical (13-23%), 86-89% LGBT* closeted; unsafe 70% (with Kirby, Demers expert panel) • 65-85% Canadian athletes experience psychologically abusive coaching practices (Kerr & Stirling) • In Canada, Indigenous students in Residential Schools (Truth and Reconciliation report, Canada) – levels unknown • Disabled 31% vs 9% non-disabled children victimized (about 4x) (Sullivan & Knutson)

  14. Recent data from Belgium [Vertommenet al., 2015]

  15. Stage of Imminent Achievement: Brackenridge and Kirby

  16. The child athlete Exposure to sexual violence • -29% - 51% all athletes experience unwanted sexual comments/advances (CAN figures 2000; NOR figures 2002) • 8.6% athletes sexually assaulted under age 16 (CAN 2000) – rates 2-20% (Brackenridge et al 2008)

  17. The athletes with impairments • Psychological abuse: 49.7% (all – 32.4%) • Physical harm: 32.4% (all -11.3%) • Sexual harm: 33.5% (all 14.3%) (Vertommen et al 2016); Yetsa/Kirby et al 2019) • Exclusions and discriminations in sport (Hargreaves, 2000)

  18. Para athletes • NOTE: Higher status in sport, than outside sport • Bullying behaviours by peer athletes (social exclusion, body talk, ‘you are worthless’) • -tend to “internalize pain … self blame” • -intellectually and dev. impaired athletes’ desire for friendship is greater so athletes would complain less • -large proportion visually impaired athletes report having been bullied –  verbal attacks, low supervision areas • -may initiate fights to become bully (v  bully, as a defence)

  19. Canada - Manitoba In Canada – CBC cases athletes under 18 • 340 coaches  600 athletes; 222 convictions (213 men; 9 women) • Sports ---most sports which serve youth, many involve schools “coaches” or “teacher/coaches” • Manitoba works hard on safe sport! • Manitoba - 10 cases: 6 convictions, 1 pending In Sport Manitoba Support Line (Dec 2015 – Dec 2018) • 142 complaint-based calls/ +11 e-mails • Verbal/emotional maltreatment by coach of youth athlete 30% • Bullying/peer harassment 25% • Team selection/playing time 16% • Adult bullying 9% • Hazing 5% • Spectator abuse/harassment 4% • Other 4.5%