This article reports on the first large-scale prevalence study on interpersonal violence against children in sport in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Using a dedicated online questionnaire, over 4,000 adults pre-screened on having participated in organised sport before the age of 18 were surveyed with respect to their experiences with childhood psychological, physical, and sexual violence while playing sports.
Authors: T Vertommen, F Van Den Eede and N Schipper-van Veldhoven
Being the first of its kind in the Netherlands and Belgium, this study has a sufficiently large sample taken from the general Belgian and Dutch population, with a balanced gender ratio and wide variety in socio-demographic characteristics.
The key findings showed that 38% of all respondents reported experiences with psychological violence, 11% with physical violence, and 14% with sexual violence.
Ethnic minority, lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGBT), and disabled athletes, and those competing at the international level, report significantly more experiences of interpersonal violence in sport.
The results are consistent with rates obtained outside sport, underscoring the need for more research on interventions and systematic follow-ups, to minimise these negative experiences in youth sport.
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