Gender-based violence in sport: Researchers call for 'urgent attention'

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The level of violence against women and girls in sport needs to be given “urgent attention” by worldwide sporting organisations, new research says.
Researchers studying gender-based violence in sport believe the true picture of how widespread the problem is remains unknown and want sporting bodies to take action.
Their study, commissioned by the International Working Group on Women and Sport (IWG), found more than a third of organisations asked had not taken action since they were last surveyed in 2013.
Almost a quarter of that third said they had not taken measures to address gender-based violence because it was “not an issue” for them.
And while that could be because they already had policies in place – or simply did not work directly with female athletes – those behind the report said dealing with gender-based violence should be a “priority”.
Professor Elizabeth Pike, of the University of Hertfordshire and one of the international team of researchers who carried out the study, told BBC Sport: “We think that gender-based violence is something everybody working in sport ought to attend to in some way.
“People are saying that it is something that needs to be dealt with, so for us, it’s a priority because there is still, in some societies, this lack of respect for girls and women because of gender stereotypes.
“The prevalence isn’t clear. We think there is an under-reporting, and we think some of that is because people are afraid of reporting it.”
Organisations seeking to end violence and abuse against athletes say they are “astonished” by the number of organisations that fail to deal with gender-based violence.
“In light of the high level of public and media attention on abuse in sport, globally, it is astonishing that any organisation can be allowed to continue to operate in denial,” said anti-abuse campaigner, Safe Sport International. (BBC Sport)

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