Posts in Respect in Sport

Saskatchewan Leading The Way With Safe Sport Campaign

October 8th, 2019 Activity Leaders, Respect in Sport, Uncategorised

Released on October 7, 2019

The Government of Saskatchewan and Sask Sport Inc., have teamed up to launch a joint marketing campaign to increase awareness on the tools and resources available to assist coaches, athletes and parents on bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination in sport.

“Ensuring a healthy, safe and respectful environment for all participants in amateur sport across our province is a priority,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Gene Makowsky said. “Thanks to the dedication of Sask Sport and the provincial sport organizations, coaches, parents and athletes, this campaign compliments the hard work already underway.”

The marketing campaign will increase awareness and use of important resources, contacts and training available online, such as the Respect Resource Line. Expert staff provide information, bilingual support, resources and referrals pertaining to issues of bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination in sport by phone, text or email.

This confidential and anonymous resource is intended to assist coaches, athletes and parents in determining the most appropriate course of action. This campaign would not be possible without Sask Sport and their members, considered leaders across Canada with their dispute resolution policies, services and tools. Sask Sport includes the Respect Resource Line and the Respect in Sport online training programs for coaches and activity leaders.

“Sask Sport thanks the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport, our member organizations and the many partners who have actively worked with us over the past 20 years to provide good governance practices and policies that reduce the risk of conflicts and disputes in sport,” Sask Sport Inc. volunteer Board Chair Kenric Exner said. “This effort has created a strong foundation for helping to prevent, identify and effectively deal with bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination, and we are eager to share the important resources and information in order to continue to help keep sport safe, healthy and fun in Saskatchewan.”

“We are so proud of our partnership with the Government of Saskatchewan and Sask Sport,” Respect Group Co-Founder Sheldon Kennedy said. “Training programs are only successful when organizations make them a priority. Kudos to Sask Sport and the sport leaders they serve.”

In addition, the campaign supports Sask Sport and their members in the promotion of resources to ensure more coaches are trained in current safe sport best practices.

For more information on the various sport resources, contacts and training, visit http://www.sasksport.sk.ca/safesport/.

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For more information, contact:

Jamie Toth
Parks, Culture and Sport
Regina
Phone: 306-787-3506
Email: jamie.toth@gov.sk.ca
Cell: 306-527-8152

Leah Laxdal
Sask Sport Inc.
Saskatoon
Phone: 306-975-0871
Email: llaxdal@sasksport.sk.ca

Soccer Quebec, Respect Group, Harassment, Keeping girls in sport, coach training, responsible coaching, abuse prevention sport, coach abuse

Soccer Québec – Scholarship For Female Soccer Development

September 13th, 2019 Activity Leaders, Respect et sport pour leaders d’activité, Respect in Sport

The Soccer Québec / Respect in Sport scholarship program increases the number of women who will follow the various licenses and / or internships to improve their knowledge and then hope to climb the ladder in the world of Québec soccer.

The scholarship program will have three different components. The first will be the community component (for educators who will follow their S2, S3, S7). The second component will be the performance component (C, B and A license) and then the third will be the development component (children’s license and youth license).

The selection process will be done in three steps:

The first step will be registration via the following application form: https://form.jotform.com/92303674915258

The form can be completed by the candidate herself, or by a representative of her club / region.

The second step will be done once the applications are received. Registered candidates will receive a second form, which they will complete themselves. This form will focus on the candidates’ objectives and available tools.

The third step will be to determine the scholarship recipients. This step will be through an interview, in person, or by video conference, to better know the candidate and its objectives in soccer.

To register, candidates must meet the following eligibility criteria:
• Has been training for at least two seasons
• Commits to continue coaching for two more seasons
• Affiliated in a club, or as a coach in regional programs
• Answer prerequisites

The prerequisites for the different licenses are:
• For S1, S2, S3, S7: Monitor for at least 2 seasons
• For Lic C: Theory A + Theory B
• For ESP (DEP): Lic C
• For Children’s License: Theory A + Theory B + Lic C
• For Juvenile License: Theory A + Theory B + Lic C

The successful candidates will be announced at the Gala de la Mi-Temps on November 23-24.

For more information, please contact Julie Casselman at the following email address: jcasselman@soccerquebec.org.

Respect Group: Canada’s Leading Safe Sport Solution

September 4th, 2019 Respect in Sport

The Respect in Sport Activity Leader/Coach Program educates youth leaders, coaches, officials and participants (14-years and up) to recognize, understand and respond to issues of bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination (BAHD). Our Activity Leader and Parent Programs are Canada’s leading Safe Sport Solution!

 

Over 1.2 Million Canadians have Joined the Movement with Respect Group to create #SafeSport, Safer Workplaces, and Safer Schools!

Respect Group: Canada's Leading Safe Sport Solution, #safesport, safe sport, canada sport, coach training, safe sport training, abuse prevention training canada, coach training abuse, safer sport, safe activities, prevent abuse, athletesCAN

 

 

Our brand new Activity Leader program will give your coaches, activity leaders and volunteers the tools they need to keep sport and activity safe and fun for everyone. Learn more or inquire at: www.respectinsport.com

MORE THAN 1000 TOP CANADIAN ATHLETES INFORM PREVALENCE STUDY OF MALTREATMENT IN SPORT, safesport, respect group, sheldon kennedy, sport, coaching, safe sport canada, coach abuse, athlete abuse, abuse prevention, abuse prevention training

MORE THAN 1000 TOP CANADIAN ATHLETES INFORM PREVALENCE STUDY OF MALTREATMENT IN SPORT

May 8th, 2019 Respect in Sport

SOURCE: AthletesCAN

OTTAWA (May 7, 2019) – AthletesCAN, in partnership with University of Toronto, is pleased release a detailed report of the Prevalence of Maltreatment among Current and Former National Team Athletes study.

The online, anonymous survey was developed by Gretchen Kerr, PhD, Erin Willson, B.KIN, and Ashley Stirling, PhD in collaboration with AthletesCAN, supported by the University of Toronto and the federal government, and distributed by AthletesCAN to current national team members as well as retired national team members who had left the sport within the past ten years.

“All Canadians have the right to participate in sport in an environment that is safe, welcoming, inclusive, ethical and respectful,” says Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport. “This study shows us that a systemic culture shift is required to eliminate maltreatment, including sexual, emotional, and physical abuse, neglect, harassment, bullying, exploitation and discrimination. I would like to thank AthletesCAN and the University of Toronto for working together on this study and providing us with the evidence we need to make well-informed decisions to make sport safer in Canada.”

“While recognizing the numerous potential benefits that sport participation has to offer, it is also important to acknowledge that for some athletes, sport is a harmful experience, characterized by various forms of maltreatment,” says Dr. Gretchen Kerr, University of Toronto Professor. “This study looked at all forms of maltreatment including sexual abuse, physical abuse, psychological abuse, neglect, various types of harassment, bullying and hazing. Although most of the attention to-date has been focused on experiences of sexual abuse, the findings indicate that athletes experience psychological abuse and neglect to a far greater extent than other forms. Most troubling are that neglectful and psychologically harmful behaviours such as the use of demeaning, threatening or humiliating comments, and denying basic needs such as food, water, and safe training conditions, are accepted as normal practices in sport,” she adds. “We wouldn’t accept such behaviours in any other walk of life so why should athletes have to endure these?”

764 current national team athletes and 237 retired athletes, completed the survey of which 61% of which were female. Additional self-identified, underrepresented groups included 10% racialized athletes; 12% athletes with a disability; 2% Indigenous; and 7% LGBTQ2I+.

“We know that sport has the power to inspire a nation, to build leaders and to unite Canadians,” says Dasha Peregoudova, President of AthletesCAN. “That is why we are pushing hard for the necessary change to address abuse, harassment and discrimination in sport. For those who have listened, the athlete voice has been a dominant one on the issue of safe sport for generations. Advocacy work around this issue over the years has included both the disclosure and reporting of various forms of maltreatment; recommendations and demands for change; and knowledge-sharing about the practices that have worked and shaped athlete experiences positively,” she adds. “However, we have not seen one central, independent and research driven survey of the athlete perspective on the issue of safe sport in more than 20 years. That has now changed. A report based on concrete data, collected from over 1000 national team athletes, is undeniable. It will complement the athlete voice in driving change in an unparalleled way.”

The survey produced a number of key findings that will inform the national conversation around Canada’s ability to address not only abuse, harassment and discrimination in sport but all forms of maltreatment.

HARMFUL BEHAVIOURS

The percentage of the top harmful behaviours reported to be most frequently experienced by current and retired athletes include psychological (17%, 23%); neglect (15%, 22%); sexual (4%, 7%); and physical (3%, 5%).

Of the current and retired athletes’ who reported experiences of at least one harmful behaviour in each category of harm, the percentage of the top harmful behaviours were neglect (67%, 76%); psychological (59%, 62%); sexual (20%, 21%); and physical (12%, 19%).

“This study has provided a snapshot of the depth and breadth of harm athletes are experiencing while competing for our country,” says Erin Willson, Olympian. “It is evident that this issue goes beyond criminal conduct to a wide variety of behaviours that impact both the physical and mental well-being of athletes. We, as high performance athletes, are in a unique position to speak to the wide scope of normalized behaviours we have experienced from grassroots to elite sport, but we are only a small portion of recreational and competitive athletes in Canada. If we have experienced maltreatment throughout our sport pathway, this study then brings into question how many other athletes are experiencing harm that are not yet at this level, or have dropped out because of abusive experiences before making it onto a national team?”

DISCRIMINATION

The most commonly experienced form of discrimination was gender discrimination with female athletes feeling they had fewer opportunities, supports and resources to advance their sport careers. Furthermore, 22% of self-identified racialized athletes experienced discrimination based on race.

“Based on the data collected, we know that racial discrimination exists in sport,” says Neville Wright, 3-time Olympian and Safe Sport Working Group member. “Due to the lack of awareness and reporting, this is a topic that does not receive enough attention, nor is it adequately addressed through policy or education. The system needs more leaders that have the ability to relate, empathize and deal with this issue. We must promote the equitable treatment of all sport participants and need to ensure under-represented groups feel supported and free to train and compete in a sport environment free from discrimination. Education and sensitivity training is a key step to recognizing and addressing racism in sport and I am committed to supporting this positive change in the months to come.” MORE

Canadian soccer leaders unanimously support Canada Soccer Safe Sport Roster, sheldon kennedy, respect in sport, safesport, soccer, abuse, coach abuse, athletes safe

Canadian soccer leaders unanimously support Canada Soccer Safe Sport Roster

May 6th, 2019 Respect in Sport

SOURCE: Canada Soccer

Posted on 4 May 2019 in Canadian Soccer Association

 

At the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Members in Québec City, Canada Soccer’s membership unanimously supported a suite of programs and initiatives that contribute to safe, fun and welcoming environments for everyone involved in the game.

The Canada Soccer Safe Sport Roster combines the benefits of mandatory certification for all coaches, a sophisticated Club Licensing Program, National Soccer Registry, Whistleblower Policy and Hotline, Code of Conduct and Ethics, and concussion protocols to create the best possible conditions for players, coaches, referees and administrators.

“The Canada Soccer Safe Sport Roster represents the continuation of a long-term commitment to making our sport as safe and enjoyable as we possibly can for all our participants,” said Canada Soccer President Steven Reed. “We’re seeing an unprecedented movement in this country that’s affecting the entire sport system. For soccer, this is a good start, and we’re committed to working closely with our membership and all stakeholders to deliver on all the components of the Safe Sport Roster.”

At the heart of the Canada Soccer Safe Sport Roster are mandatory certification requirements for every coach in the country. These include training appropriate for the age and stage of the players, specified courses offered through the Coaching Association of Canada’s National Coaching Certification Program, online Respect in Sport training, and adopting the requirements of the Responsible Coaching Movement.

“This is a strong signal from the country’s soccer leaders that the safety, enjoyment and development of our athletes is paramount,” said Peter Montopoli, Canada Soccer General Secretary. “It recognizes that there is more that needs to be done to ensure safe sport experiences for all participants, no matter the age, level of play or community. Making sport safer is more than just the right thing to do, it’s the only thing to do.”

“Minimum standards for coach training are absolutely essential to creating a safe environment for players,” said Jason deVos, Canada Soccer’s Director of Development. “We have a responsibility to ensure that investments are made by all member associations to help our coaches achieve those standards.”

Other initiatives include an expanded Club Licensing Program that provides a set of minimum standards for soccer experiences everywhere in the country, an education program to address abuse of referees, and a National Soccer Registry to track data related to player registration, development and safety.

Player safety is being further enhanced through nationwide implementation of concussion protocols.

“From my perspective as a pediatric neurologist, soccer in Canada has never been safer,” said Dr. Kevin Gordon, Member of Canada Soccer’s Sport Medicine Committee and a leading child neurologist. “Canada Soccer has put in place the gold standard for concussion protocols to prevent head injuries and to manage them as effectively as we can when they do occur.”

In addition to working with all member associations, Canada Soccer is committed to collaborating with other leading National and Multi-Sport Organizations towards making the entire sport system safer for all participants.

abuse, athlete abuse, Canada, Ontario, athletescan, olympic athletes Canada, respect, coach abuse, abuse free sport, safe sport, respect group, Sheldon Kennedy, parenting articles, making sport safer, keeping athletes safe

Canadian athletes want the lip service around safe sport to stop

May 1st, 2019 Respect in Sport

SOURCE: Devin Heroux · CBC Sports · 

The voices of some of Canada’s top athletes are growing louder when it comes to the issue of safe sport in the country: They’re tired of the talk and want action.

For the past two days at a building in downtown Toronto, Canadian Olympians, Paralympians and high-performance athletes from a number of sports have been speaking out, some for the first time, sharing their personal stories of abuse in sport.

But as much as the two-day safe sport summit has been about making a safe space for athletes to share their truth, there’s also a commitment to changing how safe sport policy is being created in Canada right now.

“There is a lot of hurt in this room,” bobsledder Kaillie Humphries said. “Coming together with other athletes to create change is so huge — because things need to change. As athletes, we need to feel safe.”

In January, Humphries told the CBC she has filed a harassment complaint with Bobsleigh Canada. In October, she announced she was stepping away from competition for a year, and admits now it is directly because of the harassment investigation.

Humphries is still awaiting the findings of an independent investigation into her case.

“My trust in the process and system is not great,” she said. “I’m seeing a lot of holes in the system in my own process that I’m falling through. And if I’m falling through them, there are others who are too.”

It’s been nearly three months since a CBC investigation revealed at least 222 coaches who were involved in amateur sport in Canada have been convicted of sexual offences in the past 20 years, involving more than 600 victims under the age of 18.

Since then, there have been a number of announcements from Canada’s sport minister, Kirsty Duncan, addressing ways to make sport safer for athletes, including a national, toll-free, confidential helpline for victims and witnesses of abuse in sport.

But Humphries, along with the dozens of other athletes in Toronto this week, feels as though they’ve been left out of the conversation.

“It has been one-sided until now,” Humphries said. “Athletes need a safe space to talk about this and provide input for change.”

That’s why AthletesCAN, the group representing Canada’s national team athletes, created its own national safe sport summit, taking place this week in Toronto. It is funded by the Canadian Olympic Committee, Deloitte, Canadian Tire Jumpstart and Respect Group.

“The frustrating part about this is it’s the first of its kind,” said AthletesCAN president Dasha Peregoudova. “We’ve been trying to put this together for a long time.”

Peregoudova said she hopes the two days of tough conversation will help empower athletes to continue to push for change and has created a safe space for people to talk about these issues.

“Sport integrity is at stake,” she said. “You can’t have a sport system without its key stakeholders. Those are the athletes. None of the other stakeholders — the organizations, the NSOs or other governing bodies  — don’t matter if there are no athletes.”

Athlete solidarity important part of process

Olympian Allison Forsyth, a former skier, has been the summit’s facilitator over the past couple of days. She knows all too well the horrifying reality of abuse in sport.

Forsyth said she was sexually abused by her coach, Bertrand Charest, in 1997 and 1998. For more than a year, she’s been speaking publicly about her abuse and her struggle with guilt, shame and anxiety as a result.

Charest was found guilty of 37 of the 57 sex-related charges he was facing and was eventually given a 12-year prison term. (Charest has been released from prison pending an appeal.)

Forsyth, now 40, said she was one of the athletes who came forward in 1998, when Alpine Canada first became aware of Charest’s sexual contact with several of his teenage athletes.

“I was told, ‘Do not say anything, because we would lose our sponsors,’ and it would end my career,” she said.

Forsyth said the problem still exists. She claims the funding models and self-serving interests of national sports organizations have helped silence athletes’ voices for years.

“The first thing that should have been called into action after the CBC report was an athlete summit,” Forsyth said. “We shouldn’t have had to do it ourselves. The fact that we had to self-organize is frustrating.”

Forsyth said so much of the policy being created is missing current athlete experiences and is not getting at the heart of what’s really happening in sporting environments across the country. But she said this week’s summit for athletes is giving her added motivation to keep pushing for change that reflects the actual realities of abuse athletes still face. MORE

 

THE MENTAL GAME, hockey Canada, sport, Sheldon Kennedy, sport, hockey, respect

THE MENTAL GAME

April 24th, 2019 Respect in Sport, Sheldon Kennedy

For Jonah Chambers, no other sport he’s played has been as challenging, both mentally and emotionally, as hockey

Scott Taylor
April 24, 2019

Jonah Chambers played volleyball and loved it, but he didn’t have to create a pre-game routine for himself. He was a decent rugby player, but he didn’t have to start his pre-game prep as early as he does at the rink.

Chambers is one of two outstanding netminders with the Calgary Buffaloes, who are representing the Pacific Region at the 2019 TELUS Cup.

Playing alongside talented Garin Bjorklund, the 17-year-old Chambers had a 1.80 goals-against average and .925 save percentage in 15 regular-season games. He also played three games with the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Calgary Canucks.

His coach, Brent Harrison is an on-ice performance coach at Skillz, Skating and Shooting Center in Calgary. He calls Chambers, “a great teammate, who has made the Buffaloes a very successful team this season.”

“He’s a really good kid,” said Harrison. “Most importantly he’s been a good teammate. We have two very good goalies and we decided, at playoff time that we’d go with our hot goalie, Garin. Jonah didn’t play a game in the playoffs and I think that was tough for him because when Garin left to play in the [World Under-17 Hockey Challenge], Jonah stepped in and carried us while Garin was gone.

“So, we rode the other guy throughout the playoffs, but Jonah was an outstanding teammate. He led the cheers for Garin and supported him every way he could. Jonah never complained and he handled the situation really well. You can’t have a successful team without people like Jonah on your roster.”

For Jonah, who grew up in Winnipeg, started playing goal at age nine because “I wasn’t a very good player,” and arrived in Calgary as a 13-year-old who knew virtually no one in his new hometown, being a part of this tremendous Buffaloes team has made it easy to be a supportive No. 2 netminder.

“I’ve found it’s really hard for a goaltender to be mentally tough all the time,” Chambers explained. “I like to go into every game thinking that I’m going to start. I always do my pre-game prep as if I’m going to play. Even as a back-up you have to be mentally prepared to play at all times.

“I also make it a point, as best I can, to keep it loose in the room. And in warm-up, when I get into the net and Garin is just skating around, I try my best to always challenge our shooters. I do my best to stop them in order to get their compete-level up. Goaltending is so much harder mentally than anything I’ve experienced in all the other sports I’ve played so I created my own pre-game routine that I have used for the past two or three years.

“It’s hard to be a backup. Everyone wants to play and I’m no different, but we have such a good team, Garin is such a strong goaltender and we have such a great room, that it’s easier for me to accept the fact that I might not play as much as I’d like.”

If Chambers sounds like a rather exceptional, caring 17-year-old, he is. And to him, the mental game is just as important away from the rink as it is on the ice.

“When I was at St. Matthews School in Grade 9, a counselor selected me and two classmates to attend a mental health conference,” he said. “I think he chose me because I was a hockey player and (former NHLer) Sheldon Kennedy would be there.

“A lot of the speakers there were excellent, but the speaker who really grabbed me was Sheldon Kennedy. The part that really took hold of me was when he was going through all that trouble at a high level of junior hockey and yet he couldn’t or didn’t speak up about it. Not being able to speak up is something that just got to me. MORE

Former youth track stars allege sexual abuse by high-profile coach, respect group, training, abuse, sport, prevention

Former youth track stars allege sexual abuse by high-profile coach

April 22nd, 2019 General News, Respect in Sport

Source: Vancouver Sun,

LORI CULBERT

Chris Dallin was a teenage track and field star who set two Canadian records in hurdles, won gold at the 1981 Canada Summer Games, and caught the eye of national coaches dazzled by his speed and strength.

On the outside, Dallin was a tall, attractive athlete with an intense determination to succeed and a growing collection of medals. On the inside, he said, he was wounded, struggling to understand why he had been “sexually assaulted” by one of the most important people in his life.

“It was the single most excruciatingly difficult event of my life,” the Ladner resident said.

“The world is basically your oyster. And then the world is a closed loop and there is no freedom — everything has been taken away from you in a matter of a second.

“I remember the sadness rolling over me. And the confusion.”

Dallin is one of at least five men who have provided statements to the Athletics Canada Commissioner’s Office, which is investigating sexual-abuse allegations against high profile track coach Ken Porter, who for 50 years turned hundreds of talented youth into the country’s highest performing track stars.

No criminal charges have been laid, despite a complaint being made to police in 2007, and none of the accusations has been tested or proven in court. Through his lawyer, Porter maintained his innocence.

“Mr. Porter categorically denies the allegations made against him. He has been a well-respected volunteer in track and field for over 50 years and has always conducted himself in a professional manner,” said lawyer Fady Mansour.

Postmedia has spoken to four of the men who contacted Athletics Canada, the national governing body for track and field. All were teenagers competing for the Edmonton Olympic Club in the 1970s and all were coached by Porter.

None of them told club officials, their parents or police about the alleged abuse at the time, because of a combination of shame, confusion and not wanting to ruin their chances of making the national track team or winning university scholarships.

“I should have told somebody. But when you are young and you want to be a great athlete and you know that your coach is your ticket to greatness, you will do anything to stay with him,” said Dallin, 56, a branding consultant who said he has struggled since the alleged assaults with low-self-esteem, major depression and anxiety. MORE

“We know better” Former NHL player and child abuse advocate Sheldon Kennedy spoke in Goderich on the importance of the ‘Safe Places’ program

April 3rd, 2019 Activity Leaders, Respect in Sport

Source: Goderich Signal Star

Kathleen Smith
More from Kathleen Smith

 

Rural Response for Healthy Children (RRHC) invited former NHL player Sheldon Kennedy to speak at the Knight’s of Columbus Centre last Friday.

Abused by a coach as a minor hockey player, Kennedy has been through therapy, treatments and dealt with his demons while on the road to recovery.

Kennedy has since become an advocate for children in Calgary and the nation, partnering with local organizations and the government to change legislator.

Working as an advocate for the Calgary and area child advocacy centre, Kennedy shared with Goderich that education is important in making social changes pertaining to tools needed in order to prevent abuse or support sexual abuse victims.

The Calgary and area child advocacy centre is a model of collaboration. Every case that the hospital receives gets triaged with each member of that advocacy organization to look at the entire picture.

Kennedy stressed the importance of sharing information between organizations and advocacy groups, in order to reach out to sexual abuse survivors early enough to make a positive difference in their lives.

“We know better today,” said Kennedy.

“The sooner we reach kids, the better chance we have of turning their life around and giving them a chance to follow their dreams.”

In five years, the advocacy group in Calgary investigated 7,900 cases, where 15 percent of these cases were from children services and 95 percent of these cases the children knew their abuser.

An even more devastating statistic showed that 45 percent of those kids were abused right at home.

Kennedy told the crowd last Friday that sexual abuse is one of the leading contributors to early childhood mental health issues and addiction.

Kennedy discussed the trauma he experienced as well as the work he has done including the creation of the Respect Group and how that evolved into the ‘Safe Places Project’.

‘Safe Places’ began in Swift Current, Saskatchewan and has since spread across Canada.

At a previous Goderich Town Council meeting Executive Director of RRHC, Selena Hazlitt introduced the ‘Safe Places’ initiative. Huron County is one of the first regions to implement the program.

Hazlitt shared with the Signal Star that research results on the impacts of abuse are staggering.

“We know that when abuse occurs, it increases the risk for long-term physical and mental health issues. If the victim seeks help and is not listened to, that risk level soars,” said Hazlitt.

“We know that when children and youth have a trusted adult in their life who responds and supports them in seeking help, the outcome for a healthier life is improved.”

In addition to emotional and mental impacts from abuse, financial impacts on adults who experienced abuse in their younger years can be monumental in regards to the cost of intervention or crisis level mental health and addiction treatments.

“By investing in prevention strategies, we can alleviate that financial pressure and more importantly give children and youth who are victimized a greater opportunity to thrive in their adult lives, contribute to their community and be loving parents,” added Hazlitt.

Hazlitt concluded that the community has an opportunity to utilize ‘Safe Places’ to become a well-informed place with adults who know how to listen and respond.

‘Safe Places Huron County’ increases public awareness and knowledge in order to effectively listen and respond to youth.

“It’s not about blame but it’s about responsibility to look out for one another and have the confidence to deal with issues properly if we suspect something going on,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy spoke on his childhood trauma, inflicted on him by a coach he trusted.

He stressed that the incident was sexual abuse but the impact was depression, anxiety, substance abuse, addiction and at times, self harm.

Shortly after Kennedy was abused, he began using in order to distance himself from the trauma.

It was only until he spoke out and accepted professional help that Sheldon began his road to recovery.

“We can’t fix people, but people support and invite them to get help and sadly there are many who don’t accept that invitation and we have lost a lot of people,” said Kennedy. MORE

Ottawa unveils plan to fight harassment, abuse, discrimination in sport

Ottawa unveils plan to fight harassment, abuse, discrimination in sport

March 26th, 2019 Respect in Sport

Minister announces investigation unit and toll-free confidential helpline

A safe space for Canadian athletes and kids who participate in sport has been a long time coming.

That was part of Minister of Science and Sport Kirsty Duncan’s message in announcing both an investigation unit and a toll-free confidential helpline on Wednesday, major measures in an effort to combat harassment and abuse in sport.

“This was Week 1 my priority, as an athlete, coach, and judge all my life,” Duncan told The Canadian Press. “When you train athletes your No. 1 job is to protect their health and safety. It’s your No. 1 job.

“So when I came into the role, I wanted to put our athletes at the centre of everything we do. And I knew we needed to help our athletes from the beginning — that there be a confidential safe place where they could go.”

The investigation unit is an arm’s-length, third-party program set up through the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada, an independent organization that already functions in helping resolve disputes in the national sport community. Canadian sport organizations can access the unit for independent investigations on reports of harassment, abuse or discrimination in sport.

The helpline — 1-888-83SPORT (77678) — is for victims and witnesses of harassment, abuse or discrimination. The line, which is already up and running, will be staffed by counsellors, psychologists and psychotherapists, seven days a week, 12 hours a day.

“I have been clear there can be bystander effect. If you see a child being hurt or harmed, it’s all of our jobs to speak up,” Duncan said. “So having this confidential phone line where you can report cases, they are professionally trained people … who will listen. It’s safe, confidential, in both official languages, and they will say where you can go next, whether it’s to the police, whether it’s to child protection services, it’s to provincial or territorial resources, but you will actually have someone say ‘This is where you go next.’” MORE

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