Safe4Athletes Survey Results
Safe4Athletes developed an online survey to indentify current and former athletes and to learn about the type of harassment that may have been experienced over the course of their career. The survey allows for both the athlete and a parent of athlete to respond.
Aims: To determine if there were any trends across sport, gender and competition level, that identify abuse levels for emotional, verbal, physical and sexual abuse.
Methods: The survey was distributed in phases; the first phase was directed towards personal contacts, via Facebook ( friends and large number of Olympians from around the world), and private communication with contacts that have come to Safe4athletes with experience of abuse in some form in sports. The second phase included a more public distribution with websites like Huffington Post, Momsteam, (a focused parent/athlete audience) and the Safe4athletes website.
Results: 155 participants – 103 Athletes – 52 Athlete/Parent; Athletes 91 Female and 12 Male.
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Five Olympic medalists and other current and former members of the U.S. speedskating team filed complaints accusing head coach Jae Su Chun of “unchecked” verbal, physical and psychological abuse.
Nineteen athletes filed a wide-ranging grievance against U.S. Speedskating and 14 signed a complaint with the U.S. Olympic Committee. The Chicago Tribune and Salt Lake Tribune reported on the accusations.
Attorney Edward Williams, who represents the skaters, said the abuse was “outrageous.”
The code of conduct complaint accuses Chun of slamming an athlete against a wall and repeatedly hitting him, throwing bottles and chairs at skaters, and repeatedly telling female skaters they were “fat” and “disgusting.”
PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO THE AMATEUR SPORT ACT TO ADVANCE ATHLETE WELFARE AND SAFETY
by Katherine Starr
Unlike athletes and students in schools and colleges who are protected by Title IX’s sexual harassment and abuse provisions, athletes in open amateur sports are currently unprotected from coach or sport leader misconduct except by criminal law. While the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has promulgated recommended policies, it does not require its national sport governing bodies (NGBs) nor the local organizations and coaches who are members of these championship conducting entities, to have such protections in place. Thus, children and adult participants in non-school youth sports programs nationwide are vulnerable to pedophiles and unethical coaches who use parent and athlete respect for their positions to manipulate their athletes to engage in inappropriate relationships and sexual exploitation.
This study investigated associations between the use of maintenance strategies and relationship quality within coach-athlete dyads. A total of 251 participants (146 athletes and 105 coaches) were administered the Coach-Athlete Relationship Maintenance Questionnaire (CARM-Q) to measure the use of conflict management, openness, motivational, preventative, assurance, support, and social network strategies and the Coach-Athlete Relationship Questionnaire (CART-Q) to measure closeness, commitment, and complementarity.
The investigation of relationship maintenance strategies has received considerable attention in various types of dyads including romantic, marital, and familial relationships. No research, however, has yet investigated the use of maintenance strategies in the coach-athlete partnership. Thus, this study aimed to investigate coaches’ and athletes’ perceptions of the strategies they use to maintain relationship quality.
Written by: Elaine Raakman1, Kim Dorsch2 and Daniel Rhind3
· The failure to have policies or prevention systems is, in itself, an action by the Club to take no action. In other words and for example, if sued by the victim or her/his family, a court would most likely say “The athlete was harmed by the Club’s failure to exercise reasonable care on behalf of the athlete by failing to adopt and administer policies that would have prevented the abuse suffered.”
- Parents want to know that a sports program is safe for their children. Having specific policies that address these issues will increase parent trust and confidence in club leadership, coaches, or ownership.
- Athletes can concentrate on their sports, without second-guessing their “gut feeling” that someone’s behavior isn’t right.
- Clear rules and a fair process reduce the Club’s risk from lawsuits that may be filed by dismissed coaches or the abused victim or her/his family.
- Many national sport governing bodies (NGB) do not yet require their Club members to have comprehensive athlete protection policies, and if they do, these policies may not address bullying or coach/peer athlete conduct that falls short of criminal behavior.
- Even when NGBs have processes that are applicable in cases of athlete sexual abuse, reporting and investigation procedures take a considerable amount of time and because the NGB is not the employer, the NGB in not in a position to address immediate suspension of an employee in the case of serious misconduct.
The local Club is responsible for the safety of its program participants and is obligated to take immediate action to remedy a hostile environment.
It is important that an athlete “respect” their coach (teammates, staff and volunteers), but sometimes, they act in ways that can be harmful and hurtful to young athletes.
It is important for every athlete to understand what is unacceptable behavior and when to reach out to an adult to ask for help and guidance.