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Addressing maltreatment

 

viaSport commitment to safe sport

In partnership with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MTAC), viaSport’s mission is to ensure that all British Columbians have the opportunity to participate in sport and reach their full potential. For this to be a reality, all sport organizations have the ongoing responsibility to work collectively toward creating a safe sport culture prioritizing experiences that are positive, inclusive and physically, emotionally, and mentally free from harm, at every level of sport within the province.

Positive sport programs are those that place the participant at the center of the experience; a key condition to a positive sport environment is ensuring that participants are safe.

Over the past 20 years, at least 222 coaches involved in amateur sports in Canada have been convicted of sexual offences, with more than 600 victims under the age of 18. It is estimated that between two and eight per cent of children and youth in sport are victims of abuse and harassment in sport.

Research shows that survivors of childhood sexual abuse are more susceptible to physical and psychological disorders in adulthood, leaving a lifelong impact on not only the survivors, but all who surround them.

For years, sport organizations at all levels have created well-meaning anti-abuse policies, working with limited awareness of the full scope of the problem. In harmony with the 2019 Red Deer Declaration for the Prevention of Harassment, Abuse and DiscriminationviaSport is working with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport and sport organizations in BC to create a sport environment that is accessible, inclusive, respects the particpants’ personal goals and is free from all forms of Maltreatment.

viaSport has led research and consultation with over 100 organizations at all levels of sport to understand how we can make sport safer. viaSport listened to parents, athletes, coaches and administrators to identify what is already being done and what more could be done and how solutions might be implemented to account for the needs of the individual, the organization and the province. Research reports (Safe Sport Ethnographic Research and Design Sprint) are available in the Learning Centre.

This research and consultation also lead to a Theory of Change, which was further simplified to a 4 pillar framework for our approach to Safe Sport.

viaSport is committed to working with the sector to develop and implement sustainable system solutions to address each area of the framework.

 

 

Outcomes

PREVENT Increase awareness and understanding of sport conduct expectations among all B.C. participants, empowering individuals to act through education and communication
REPORT Provide a victim-centred approach for reporting complaints
RESPOND Establish an independent, professional, and accessible process with centralized resources
UPHOLD Implement standardized policies and procedures, prioritize collaboration and alignment of resources

Government Resources

  • B.C. Helpline for Children – a confidential toll-free phone line for children and youth wanting to talk to someone – is 310-1234 (no area code required).
  • VictimLinkBC is a toll-free, confidential, multilingual telephone and online service available across B.C. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week which provides information and referral services to all victims of crime and immediate crisis support to victims of family and sexual violence.
  • Resilience BC: Anti-Racism Network provides information about how to report incidences of racism and hate crimes if you are a victim or witness such incidences.

 

Canadian Sport Helpline


Contact the helpline HERE.

 

viaSport Learning Centre


For more Safe Sport resources and training, visit the Resource Hub in our Learning Centre and use the filters to naviagte between topics like maltreatment and injury prevention.

We also have a number of our Safe Sport research reports and findings available in the Research Hub section of the Learning Centre.