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Maltreatment

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Individuals should have the reasonable expectation when they participate in sport in B.C. that it will be in an environment that is accessible, inclusive, respects their personal goals is free from all forms of maltreatment. Maltreatment in all its forms is a serious issue that undermines the health, well-being, performance and security of individuals, communities, and society.

Maltreatment is unacceptable and fundamentally incompatible with the core values that lie at the heart of Canadian sport. The commitments expressed below reflect this common understanding amongst Canadian sport stakeholders:

  • All Participants in sport can expect to play, practice, compete, work, and interact in an environment free from Maltreatment. 
  • All Participants recognize that Maltreatment can occur regardless of race, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, class background, ability, and religion. Moreover, it is recognized that those from marginalized groups have increased vulnerability to experiences of Maltreatment.
  • All Participants recognize that persons who have experienced Maltreatment may experience a range of effects that may emerge at different times and that can profoundly affect their lives.
  • Addressing the causes and consequences of Maltreatment is a collective responsibility and requires the deliberate efforts of all Participants, sport stakeholders, sport club administrators and organization leaders.

 

What is maltreatment?

A behaviour is classed as maltreatment if it was:

  • Volitional (done on purpose), and
  • If it resulted or had the potential to result in physical or psychological harm.

This can include behaviours that are acts of omission, such as neglect.

It is important to understand that maltreatment is determined by the behaviour viewed objectively, not by whether harm is intended or results from the behaviour.

Definitions of specific types of maltreatment can be found in Section 6 of the BC Universal Code of Conduct (www.viasport.ca/bc-universal-code-of-conduct).

Who experiences maltreatment in sport?

Any type of participant can experience maltreatment in sport - it is not limited to athletes.

This includes:

  • Peer athletes
  • Spectators
  • Parents/Guardians
  • Referees/Officials
  • Coaches/Instructors
  • Administrators
  • Executives
  • Board members

It can occur at any level of sport, from grassroots up to elite.

Who has a responsibility to prevent maltreatment in sport?

Everyone is responsible for contributing to create inclusive, accessible, and equitable environments in sport that provide healthy and enjoyable experiences.

Everyone who is a member of a provincially-funded sport organization (including athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers, administrators, board members, trainers, etc.) as well as anyone who has signed a participant code of conduct that cites the BC UCC; for example, a guardian of a minor who is registered in a federated sport and has signed an athlete code of conduct.

A current list of sports organizations who receive provincial funding can be found here: https://www.viasport.ca/partners/pso-and-dso

If you take part in sport through organizations that aren't accredited through viaSport, you can help to create a safer environment in sport by asking your sport to adopt the BC Universal Code of Conduct.For more information on specific responsibilities and prohibited behaviours, go to our Standards of Behaviour (BC UCC) page.