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 Discrimination, viaSport is currently developing long-term solutions to confront and eradicate abuse and harassment in sport. Through the Safe Sport Program Plan, viaSport is working on an evidence-based, collaborative approach to:
Deeply understand the problem;
Collaborate with PSO, MSO, LSO, DSO stakeholders to devise solutions that can be applied at the appropriate levels to affect culture change;
Recommend tangible actions to assist government to address the issue.
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