The VOICE project focuses on combatting sexual violence in European sport through the voices of those affected, promoting freedom from harassment, violence, exploitation and abuse as a universal right and fundamental social imperative.
VOICE will generate crucial research data on sexual violence in European sport by listening to the voices of those that have been affected by sexual harassment and abuse. This evidence-base and the voices of former victims will be used as a platform to produce a powerful knowledge-exchange and educational resources enhancing the European sports community to combat sexual violence and strengthen integrity in sport.
The project aims at the acknowledgement of sexual violence within sport. Those affected by sexual harassment and abuse in sport will be at the centre of the project. Their accounts and experiences will help sport organisations to acknowledge the problem and learn about adequate prevention measures. The systematic cooperation between organisations from the field of sport and victim support / child protection will enable the European sport community to develop effective preventive tools.
After the research and hearing the voices of those affected, a good practice exchange is planned, producing educational material and making knowledge transfer to promote sustainable change. The project is funded through the EU Erasmus+ programme, under collaborative partnerships in sport, and will run between 2016 and 2018.
German Sport University Cologne is the project leader, with Edge Hill University, NWG Network and independent professionals as key steering partners. Other stakeholders include dissemination & counselling partners from the European Sport Community, with the Youth section of the European Non-Governmental Sports Organisation (ENGSO Youth), European Gay & Lesbian Sport Federation (EGLSF), European Paralympic Committee (EPC) and European University Sports Association (EUSA). National partners from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, Spain and United Kingdom take part through respective participating University, Sport organisation and Victim organisation from each country.
If you have been affected by sexual violence or abuse in the context of sport or physical education, we would like to hear from you. We especially invite individuals living in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, Spain and United Kingdom (project partner countries) to contact the researchers in these countries, helping us conduct a European research study.
Any contact will be strictly confidential and if you decide to participate in a research interview, your identity will be protected. VOICE applies a definition of sexual violence that includes sexual abuse and exploitation, physical sexual violence, sexual harassment and homophobic violence. For explicit definitions, please see the VOICE website. The interview period is open until mid 2017, and the project will also stage 8 national or regional Acknowledgement Forums with key stakeholders from the sport and victim-support communities, develop networks, exchange good practice and generate educational resources for the European sports community and disseminate outputs to the wider European sports community.