Gender-based violence in sports is an invisible and under-debated problem, as shown by a Bilitis Foundation study

Commission and the countries of the European Union, conducted in 2019, points to the following reasons for the low visibility of the problem:

“One of the most important findings of the study is that the concept of ‘gender-based violence in sport’ is not well-known in the countries of the European Union, although certain forms of violence that fall within the definition of gender-based violence in sport, are recognized and addressed in some countries. These are mostly sexual violence and harassment, and to a lesser extent, violence against LGBTIQ members. The concept of gender-based violence in sports brings together several issues that are addressed separately under other positive actions and labels such as “sport ethics”, “child protection”, “safe sports environment” or “athlete welfare”. The main conclusions reached by the researchers of the problem is that a holistic approach and continuous consistent actions are needed in order to deal with the problem of gender-based violence in sports.

The second major finding of the study is that gender-based violence in sport disproportionately affects persons subject to multiple discrimination. The final conclusion is that sexual violence in sports, as a form of gender-based violence, is mainly viewed through the lens of sexual violence against children and youngsters. The research is part of the “Fair Game” project activities, implemented by the non-governmental organization “Bokaya”, in partnership with the Bilitis Resource Center Foundation, and with the financial support of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway under the Active Citizens Bulgaria Fund, within the framework of the financial mechanism of the European Economic Area EEA 2014-2021. The thematic priority is No. 4: “Enhancing contribution of civil society organizations to gender equality and prevention of gender-based violence”.