Women's Sports Foundation Position Statement: Abuse of Athletes By Coaches and/or Peers
1. The verbal, physical or psychological abuse of athletes subverts the mission of sports organizations and educational institutions to provide leadership and resources for the purpose of improving the physical, mental and emotional well-being of all females through sport and fitness participation.
2. Any type of abuse has debilitating consequences both for its victims and for the society as a whole. In the context of athletic programs it lowers the self-esteem and limits the ability of participants to develop their full potential in sports and fitness activities. It impairs the future capacity of its victims to experience full athletic participation and to pursue employment and leadership roles in athletics. This, in turn, deprives the society as a whole of the contributions of these individuals and damages a genuine appreciation of participant's athletic achievements and contributions.
3. Abusive behavior of coaches and/or teammates toward other players undermines the professionalism of organized sport, taints the atmosphere of mutual trust and respect between coach and athlete and between teammates, and hinders the fulfillment of the overall educational mission of athletics.
4. The Women’s Sports Foundation recognizes that this type of abuse occurs in sport as it does in other institutional contexts. In order to effectively deal with cases of abuse in athletics, as well as to prevent future abuse of female athletes, the Foundation encourages officers of sports governance bodies, athletic directors and school administrators to formulate policy guidelines and procedures that include training, distribution of the policy and subsequent evaluation of its effectiveness.
Reprinted with the permission of the Women's Sports Foundation. © 2008 All Rights Reserved.
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