A contact point launched by the federal and state governments to help victims of sexual, psychological and physical abuse in sport. This is the first phase of a safe sports center.
Federal Interior Minister Nancy Feiser and the federal states are paying close attention to the problem of violence in sports. At the Sports Ministers’ Conference in Mainz, they jointly created a support association for a contact point to help more those who have suffered sexual, psychological and physical abuse.
The goal of creating an independent center for safe sports, that is, safe and non-violent sports, should be realized as early as next summer.
The contact point should start working at the beginning of 2023, according to the message. Former national football player and national coach Steffi Jones has also been appointed to the board of the sponsoring association. The facility will be based in Berlin. Although the German Sports Association is a founding member of the sponsoring association, the German Olympic Sports Confederation has so far refused to participate, even with funding.
Phaser: Bring all the cases
“We have to identify all cases and help the victims,” said SPD minister Feiser. “The first thing to be launched in early 2023 is an independent point of contact for Safe Sport, which will offer psychological and legal support to victims.” He announced that the safe sports center for safe and non-violent sports will operate in the summer of next year.
“But it’s also clear that despite all the government measures, organized sports have a special responsibility and must take it on,” Feiser warned the DOSB. “Anyone who entrusts themselves or their children to a coach or sports club should be able to rely on a completely non-violent approach. We need a culture of enlightenment, consideration and action.”
“We don’t look at each other anymore”
For Rhineland-Palatinate Sports Minister Ebling, the initiative of the federal and state governments jointly participating in the funding is a paradigm shift. “It is the right signal, we are no longer looking the other way,” said the SPD politician, who was chairing the two-day conference of sports ministers.
The DOSB welcomes the creation of a point of contact because it was there for both grassroots and high-level sports, said DOSB board member for youth sports Christina Gassner. How DOSB could potentially participate in the sponsoring association is still being explored.
The DOSB has so far taken the position that funding should be the responsibility of the federal government. “The fact that now many parties are getting the impression that we are not financially involved at all in the complex of protection against violence in sports is simply not true,” Gassner emphasized. There is a clear commitment that sport will continue to develop and expand prevention, intervention and reassessment. There are already a number of events that are financed from sports.
German athletes. “Another destination”.
The establishment of a sponsoring association for German athletes is “another milestone” for better protection in and during sport. “The state is obliged to protect its citizens from human rights violations. It also applies to sports,” said Maximilian Klein, representative of “Athletes Germany”. And he praised Minister Faizer. “This drive for action makes us optimistic.” The Safe Sport Center should have significantly wider powers than the contact and advice centre, namely prevention, intervention and processing.
Creating such a center is still a big problem. Nothing would be worse than if the victims were disappointed, Klein said. Since May, Athletes Germany has set up the independent advice center “Start Against Violence” for squad athletes. “The current cases of swimming and handball show how important such a proposal is,” said Klein.
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