Good practices for the prevention of gender-based violence in sport

A number of examples show that gender-based violence and specifically one of its most widespread forms – sexual violence and harassment – are common in Bulgarian sportс, but insufficiently researched and not addressed in the existing Codes of Ethics of sports organizations and federations. Bulgaria is one of the countries where there is a lack of prevention practices. The need to engage sports organizations and coaches with prevention measures is extremely important. Results of international studies show that sports organizations are the most active promoters of standards of behavior that exclude gender-based violence in sports.

Good practices for the prevention of gender-based violence in sport from other EU Member States have been used as a basis for refining the strategy of the Fair Play project. The identified good practices can be put into practice in individual clubs and federations. It is important that every organization carries out an information campaign to raise awareness of the problem, aimed at athletes, coaches, sports clubs and federations, parents of athletes, and citizens who regularly play sports, as well as the general public. It is also a good practice to create or update the model for a Code of Ethics for sports clubs and federations, which explicitly addresses the topic of gender-based violence in sports and provides specific rules for preventing and dealing with the problem. The model for the Code of Ethics should be agreed with the Ministry of Youth and Sports, as well as conducting informational meetings with coaches to disseminate this Code of Ethics among clubs throughout the country. Last but not least, the gathering of various interested parties to discuss a multi-sectoral approach to address the problem, as well as systematic work in multi-disciplinary teams to ensure the protection of vulnerable groups (women, children, LGBTIQ athletes) is also an effective method.