17th Annual ECSS-Congress, Bruges 2012

Abstract details

Abstract-ID: 1124
Session: [MO-PM27] TT General
Lecture room: E103
Date & time: 03.07.2014 / 14:00 - 15:00
Title of the paper: Preventing Sexual Harassment and Abuse in Sport - The Norwegian Perspective
Authors: Fasting, K.
Institution: Norwegian School of Sport Sciences
Department: Department of social and cultural studies
Country: Norway
Abstract text The first Norwegian study surveying the prevalence of sexual harassment and abuse in Norway took place in 1998. About the same time, a big scandal occurred in Norwegian Sport. The coach of Vebjørn Rodahl, a Norwegian runner who had won a gold medal in 800m in the Olympics in 1996, was sacked by the Norwegian Track and Field Association, by his club, and a couple of days later by Vebjørn Rodahl himself. The coach was accused of having sexually harassed and abused two female athletes. The case never got to court, because it was settled out of court. The case received extensive media attention, and raised many questions inside Norwegian sport, because it became clear that Norwegian sport didn’t have a system to handle such cases. When the report from the above mentioned survey was released some time later it led to The Norwegian Olympic, Paralympic and Confederation of Sport (NIF) deciding upon the first guidelines to prevent sexual harassment (NIF 2000). More empirical studies have now been done. Also the numbers of criminal court cases involving abuse in sport have been more visible in the Norwegian media. A short overview of the knowledge produced by these empirical studies about sexual harassment and abuse in a Norwegian Context is presented. This knowledge led to the revision of the guidelines of 2000. As a consequence of that “An open and inclusive sport” had been chosen as the aim for future sports policy by the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic and Confederation of Sports (NIF), it became a goal “to develop tolerance, understanding and to establish recognition of people’s equality in order to avoid discrimination, harassment and bullying” (NIF 2007). At the General Assembly the motion “Zero tolerance for discrimination and harassment irrespective of gender, ethnic background, religious faith, sexual orientation and disability” was passed. Soon after the board of NIF decided “that all sports clubs from 1 January 2009 are obliged to procure a police certificate of good conduct for persons who are to carry out tasks for the club that entail a relationship of trust and responsibility in relation to minors or persons with mental disability” (NIF 2008). A police certificate contains information about whether a person is charged with or has earlier been convicted of violations of certain provisions in Penal Code on sexual offenses. Some figures from this police checking are presented and discussed. Ten new guidelines on preventing sexual harassment and abuse were then adopted in 2010. A booklet has been developed which, in addition to definitions and general information, has paragraphs about the prevention of sexual harassment and abuse and suggests mandatory procedures when sexual harassment and abuse occur. The guidelines are presented and their consequences discussed particularly in relation to how a sport club/organization should and could react when an incident occurs.
Topic: Sociology
Keyword I: police checking
Keyword II: ethical guidelines
Keyword III: Norwegian NOC