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Children experience higher rates of violence in community sports, study from University of Victoria

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A study conducted by the University of Victoria found that 82% of those sampled reported experiencing at least one form of interpersonal violence when participating in community sports as children.

The most comprehensive study of its kind in Australia, it asked 886 adults whether they had experienced childhood physical, sexual, psychological violence and neglect from coaches, peers or parents. I asked

Seventy-six percent said they had experienced psychological violence or neglect, 66% reported physical violence, and 38% reported sexual violence.

Meanwhile, one in three respondents said they had experienced all four forms of violence.

Respondents participated in a variety of sports, with nearly 70 participating.

70% of respondents experienced physical and psychological violence from peers. (Designed by informatics at the University of Victoria)

While such a large number may surprise some, study co-author Mary Woessner said she was not shocked.

“From the literature and knowing what’s going on internationally, I can say that it’s correct about what we expected,” Dr. Woessner told ABC.

“One of the first things you need to do to create change, positive change, is create an understanding that there is a problem.

“I just want people to know it exists so they can make evidence-based decisions to change it.”

Dr. Woessner’s co-author Aurélie Pankowiak explained that the study asked participants about explicit examples of violence they may have experienced in the context of sport.

Dr. Aurelie Pankowiak poses for a photo on the University of Victoria basketball court
Aurélie Pankowiak co-authored this study with Mary Woessner.(ABC News: Andy Noonan)

For negligence, for example, participants were asked if they had ever been denied time off because of an injury.

For psychological violence, participants were asked whether they had been insulted, threatened, or humiliated (e.g., bullied, given unwanted nicknames, or otherwise ostracized). ).

“We had very specific examples of different types of violence, so we didn’t leave it up to the person to interpret whether what they were experiencing was violence,” Dr. Pankowiak said.