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National media coverage of the VOICE project in Belgium

Tine Vertommen, project leader for Belgium, was interviewed by a national newspaper (Het Nieuwsblad) about the VOICE project. Tine gives some examples of sexual harassment and abuse in sport and some background information on the VOICE project. The article also makes reference to her important prevalence study on sexual violence against children in sport, from which it is clear that sexual violence is a problem in Flemish sport.

The newspaper also published the call for interview participants, emphasizing the need for better prevention initiatives that will be built based on the experiences of survivors of sexual violence in sport and interviews are now underway. The article concludes by noting that the VOICE project has received the full support of the Flemish minister of sport who says that his administration has already implemented some preventive measures.

Tine Vertommen
Tine Vertommen


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.

Spain_UVic UCC logo (2)

Specialist support within Voice

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.


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.

Michael Leyendecker

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