Kick-Off for the European project VOICE

Partners from eight European countries take a stand for sexualized violance in sport.

Kick-Off for the European project VOICE. The Institute of Sport Sociology and Gender Studies starts a new EU-project which is devoted to sexual violence in European sport.

In 2014 the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council of the European Union acknowledged that “gender based violence in sport, especially sexual harassment and abuse of minors, is a significant problem but requires additional research so that it can be better understood”. VOICE will generate crucial research data on sexual violence in European sport by listening to the accounts of those that have been affected by sexual violence in sport. The resulting evidence-base will provide a platform to   produce powerful knowledge-exchange opportunities and develop relevant educational resources. The objective is to enhance the sports community’s capacity to combat sexual violence and strengthen integrity in sport. A crucial feature of the project will be the staging of 8 Acknowledgement Forums across Europe with key stakeholders from the sport and victim-support communities. Those affected by sexual exploitation and abuse in sport will be at the centre of the project. Their experiences will help sport organisations to develop a deeper understanding of this problem and, therefore, a greater capacity to prevent it within their own settings. This includes the presence of ex-Olympian gymnast Gloria Viseras on the project steering committee. Gloria has previously spoken out about her childhood experiences of sexual abuse within sport. The VOICE project is a collaboration between 8 European universities and 4 pan-European sports agencies. Each university is partnered with a national sports agency and a national child protection/victim support organisation. This systematic cooperation will generate important research data and enable the development of contextualised resources for the benefit of the European sport community and beyond.

VOICE – Key actions:

  • Conduct a European research study with those who have been affected by sexual violence in sport in 8 European countries
  • Stage 8 national/regional ‘Acknowledgement Forums’ with key stakeholders from the sport and victim-support communities
  • Convene a multi-national European workshop
    • Initiate/develop networks
    • Exchange good practice, and
    • Create concepts for educational resources
  • Generate educational resources for the European sports community
  • Disseminate outputs to the wider European sports community

The attached flyer (right column) will give you more information. Soon the flyer will be translated in the following languages: German, Spanish, Danish, Flemish, Slovenian and Hungarian 

Contact information:

German Sport University Cologne, Institute of Sport Sociology and Gender Studies
Dr. Bettina Rulofs: rulofs@­
Gitta Axmann: g.axmann@­
Phone: +49 221 4982-7230