The University of Vic- University Central of Catalonia (UVic-UCC) and the Catalan Sport Council (CSC) are very proud of actively participating and contributing to the VOICE project.
The UVic-UCC is one of the partners of VOICE and through it Spain is involved in this tremendously important issue in sport. For Spain to be able to gather qualitative data on sexual violence in sport represents a huge advance in understanding the in-depth roots and mechanisms through which this despicable practice takes part in Spanish sport. With no doubt this intense and rigorous inquiry will have a future impact on child protection policies in sport in Spain.
For the UVic-UCC being part of VOICE represents a unique opportunity to advance the research on sexual violence in sport. It also helps the university researchers to become experts in Spain on a very sensitive topic that not many parties are willing to recognise and work on.
The CSC has a goal of promoting humanistic values through sport such as respect and non-discrimination. For this reason VOICE’s aims fit well into the overall CSC aim of promoting a kind of sport which always takes place in a safe environment, which respects children’s and youth’s rights and which does not forget child and youth dignity in this world. The CSC has been supporting UVic-UCC research in preventing sexual violence in sport since 2014.
The CSC considers it important to raise awareness among all the agents implicated in sport in order to guarantee sport practices free of harassment and violence related to sex and sexual orientation. This is why CSC strongly believes in the need to implement efficient strategies on prevention, detection and eradication. Foremost the CSC supports and has supported for years a variety of actions which have as a pursuit to prevent sexual harassment in sport. These actions go from supporting research projects on the issue to also supporting formative actions and disseminating guides, articles and organising formative days by Catalan as well as International organisations.
sports coach UK is the UK agency for sports coaching. David Turner, the Coaching Children Lead, said: “sports coach UK are excited to be supporting the VOICE project and Edge Hill University. Our 20 year relationship with the NSPCC has led to over 400,000 sports coaches being trained in Safeguarding and Protecting Children. We feel that hearing the voices of those who have suffered from sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse in sport is a powerful way of helping to protect future generations from these experiences and offering opportunities for all children, young people and adults to participate in sport and physical activity in a safe and enjoyable environment.” Dr Mike Hartill (Edge Hill University) responded: “sports coach UK have demonstrated a long-term commitment to creating safe sport environments as well as developing and sharing knowledge on this difficult and important topic so we are very grateful for their support and the expertise they bring to the project”.
The experience of telling your story can be very difficult and we want to ensure that your participation in this research is a positive experience. We will explain and discuss very carefully what is involved in the research and we will ask for your consent to undertake research with you.
We also want to ensure that you can access specialist support services should you wish to do so, before, during or after the research.
Led by Sheila Taylor MBE, NWG Network is a central partner and has a great deal of experience working with victims of sexual exploitation and abuse. It has a range of expertise to draw upon as well as a very strong network of specialist organisations that offer crucial support services in this area.
In addition, each partner organisation is also partnered by a victim-support organisation in their own country. Further details of this can be accessed via the individual lead researcher for each partner.
Over the past decade, the University of Southern Denmark has been involved in a number of European partnership projects relating to child protection, sexualized violence and elite athlete safety.
The current project is founded on the ongoing efforts and existing networks between researchers, sport NGOs and child protection agencies.
The VOICE project allows the network to expand the international ties and collaboration to include a wider audience of athletes and sport governing bodies. The involvement in VOICE is also an opportunity for sharing and developing knowledge across the European research and sporting community.
In a national and international perspective the joint European work is expected to yield new insights into a highly sensitive and important topic. The issue of child sexual harassment and abuse in organized sport surfaced in 1997, but became a real topic in Denmark around 1998-2000 when increased documentation of the phenomenon grew from both research and media attention relating to a number sexual abuse cases in and outside of sport.
A TV-documentary in 2000 illustrated just how easy it was for sex offenders with a criminal record to gain access to children in sport. This prompted further action. Between 2000 and 2005 case handling procedures and legislation gradually developed to help Danish sport organizations deal with the problem.
The three national sport organizations in Denmark and the University of Southern Denmark strongly supports the ongoing focus on the prevention and handling procedures relating to sexual violence and discrimination in sport. The VOICE project is expected to provide increased awareness and understanding among a wider audience of sport practitioners as well as in society at large.
Jan Toftegaard Støckel
Associate Professor, Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics
The Youth Organisation of the European Non-Governmental Sports Organisation:
Why is ENGSO Youth participating in the VOICE project?
We participate in the VOICE project because child´s welfare is an important topic for sports clubs.
Why is VOICE important for ENGSO Youth?
As an umbrella organization of Europe´s sport federations we want to give new impulses for the work with children and young kids. Especially the new view on qualitative interviews with those affected by sexual harassment can give new insights into better prevention concepts. Besides this, the most important point for us is to create some kind of resource toolkit to directly address our clubs with new support.
When and how did ENGSO Youth begin work on combatting sexual violence in sport?
We started to work on combatting sexual violence in sports with the EU project ‘Sport Respects Your Rights’ (2013-15), in which young ambassadors were educated to promote this important topic to their national sport federations. We are very happy to continue this work as a partner of the VOICE project.