Preventing Sexual Harassment and Abuse in Sports: Our Commitment at Sovicos

In recent years, the sports community has made significant efforts to prevent sexual harassment and abuse of power. Following serious reports, extensive investigations into misconduct in sports have led to changes in sports disciplinary law. The statute of limitations has been abolished, mandatory reporting has been introduced, and reports are now better documented and followed up, with regular media coverage. Together, we share the responsibility to create a safe and positive sports environment and to intervene when things go wrong.

The Right to Say No

Everyone has the right to say no if someone else’s behavior feels uncomfortable, whether it involves an adult, a fellow athlete, or a coach. Talk about it with the management, the coach, or the Confidential Contact Person (VCP).

Understanding Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment includes any form of unwanted verbal, non-verbal, or physical behavior of a sexual nature, intended to or resulting in the violation of someone’s dignity. Incidents range from verbal harassment to more serious forms such as assault and rape, and even online bullying. Unfortunately, misconduct in sports is common, not only between coach and athlete but also among athletes. Athletes can become more vulnerable, especially at higher levels, as elite athletes, with disabilities, or when dependent on one person for their career.

The Importance of Objective Investigation

Objectively investigating reports and signals of sexual incidents is crucial. NOC*NSF emphasizes the obligation for administrators and supervisors to report suspicions of sexual harassment to their own sports federation or the Centre for Safe Sports. Handling a report requires skill and knowledge of disciplinary processes, including the right to be heard. Communication and handling rumors also require tact. Discuss the incident with us to take the right steps. In cases of assault or rape, we will refer you directly to the police and the Centre for Sexual Violence, prioritizing the victim’s safety and medical care.

Together Against Misconduct

The Centre for Safe Sports Netherlands is available Monday through Friday from 08:30 to 17:30 at 0900 20 25 590.