More than 50 percent of participants in a survey on violence in sports indicated that they had witnessed verbal sexual harassment or sexist language
Over 50 percent of participants in a survey on violence in sports indicated that they had witnessed verbal sexual harassment or sexist language. This is shown by the data of the online survey, carried out among 205 respondents on the territory of the country on the topic of gender-based violence in sports in Bulgaria and, more specifically, sexual violence in sports. Of the participants, 31.2 percent had witnessed sexual violence or harassment against their teammates or members of another sports club. More than half (51 percent) answered that sexual harassment was most often expressed in name-calling, innuendos of a sexual nature or sexist language. The data shows a wide spread of sexist language in sports circles in our country. Physical harassment (violence) in the form of sexual touching is also widespread:
– More than 31 percent of respondents witnessed touching/groping of intimate parts of their teammates’ bodies against their will. Of these, nearly 11 percent have witnessed sudden kissing on the lips of persons without their consent.
– More than 9 percent of respondents have witnessed people being forced to commit acts of sexual nature against their will.
These percentages indicate the wide spread of physical forms of sexual harassment that go hand in hand with verbal ones. Regarding the victims of sexual harassment and violence, the data confirms the trends identified in other similar studies in European countries: the most frequent victims of sexual violence in sports are women. According to the results of the survey, in 71.9 percent of cases of sexual violence or harassment in sports, the victim was a woman. The study showed that in 7.8 percent of cases, the victim was a homosexual man. Similarly, in 7.8 percent of the cases the victim was a lesbian, and in 4.7 percent of the cases, the victims were transgender or intersex people. The same percentage of victims were heterosexual boys/men. Over 3 percent of respondents chose the option “other,” meaning that the victims identified differently from the groups listed above. This study provides an image of the current situation with gender-based violence in sport in Bulgaria and, more specifically, sexual violence in sports.