Children who play community sports can reap a range of health and social benefits in a safe environment, but new data show that many are exposed to violence at an alarming rate.
A major study of adults examining their childhood experiences, published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, found that incidents of psychological, physical, and sexual violence were particularly common among women and gender-diverse individuals. was.
More than 80% of survey respondents in 68 different sports reported experiencing some form of violence in community sports during childhood.
Peers were the most frequent beholders, with 73% of respondents having been assaulted in some way.
At least 60% were beaten by coaches and 35% were attacked by parents.
Gender-diverse individuals report the highest rates of violence, especially when it comes to psychological violence by coaches.
More than 80% reported abuse by coaches, compared to 55% of women and 50% of men.
One woman reported experiencing and witnessing severe bullying as a child.
Another said there were long-term effects on her mental health due to what she endured as a child.
Principal investigator Dr Aurelie Pankowiak of the University of Victoria said the research is essential in creating a safer sports environment.
Dr Pankowiak said, “We hope this will be an important first step towards measuring the extent of violence experienced in community sports and increasing the effectiveness of our work to prevent this violence.” .
“Ultimately, we want to ensure that violence against children does not negate the many health and well-being benefits of participating in community sports.”
According to 2018 data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, an estimated 67% of children by the age of 14 participate in organized physical activity outside of school hours at least once every two weeks.
Gymnastic Australia made headlines this week for trying to get alleged victims of physical and psychological abuse to sign non-disclosure agreements in order to participate in the judicial process of recovery. later.
This was in response to a Human Rights Commission investigation that found systemic abuse in sport.
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Violence against children in sports is rampant
Source link Violence against children in sports is rampant