Register to protect youth from sexual abuse in sport

Oct 18, 2017

BUILDING SAFE SPORT: Protecting Youth from Sexual Abuse

When: Tuesday, November 21

Time: 9:45 AM – 11:15 AM | Film Screening: Swift Current
          11:30 AM – 12:30 PM | Panel Discussion
          1:30 PM – 4:30 PM | Policy Development Workshop for sport organizations

Where: VIFF Vancity Theatre – 1181 Seymour St.

Tickets: Available on Eventbrite              
              Swift Current film screening: FREE              
              Policy Development Workshop for sport organizations: $40 (lunch included)  

The statistics around child abuse are staggering. It is estimated that 10% of all children are victims of sexual abuse, and children with disabilities are four times more likely to be affected. When it comes to sport, studies have shown that between 2% and 8% of both minor-age and young adult athletes are victims of sexual abuse. 

Despite current practices by sport organizations to protect young athletes, more can be done. As sport is primarily volunteer driven and/or administered by staff members with limited capacity, it’s not uncommon that resources, tools and training to implement preventative measures towards sexual abuse in sport are insufficient. As a result, those in leadership positions are not well-equipped to understand the prevalence of sexual abuse in sport, how to manage unethical behaviours, and what should be done within their organization to best protect their athletes. 

In order to support sport organizations and drive change in B.C., viaSport is hosting BUILDING SAFE SPORT: Protecting Youth from Sexual Abuse, an event to bring awareness to the realities of child abuse in sport and implement preventative measures. The event will kick off with a free film screening of Swift Current, a feature length documentary around former NHL player Sheldon Kennedy who was sexually abused by his junior hockey coach.

Sheldon has gone on to become a leading advocate and inspiration for victims of child abuse, both in Canada and around the world. Currently the co-founder of Respect Group, Sheldon’s work with his organization brings governments, public and private sector partners together to work collaboratively to influence policy change and improve the way child abuse is handled. We’re excited to have him as part of our panel discussion portion of the event after the film screening. 

In addition to raising awareness, the second portion of the event focuses on empowering sport organizations through a policy development workshop. Facilitated by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection, sport organizations will be provided with the resources, knowledge and confidence needed to prevent and act on sexual abuse.