The ability of sport to improve lives, enhance confidence and build relationships depends on maintaining the bonds of trust, mentorship and mutual respect among teammates, peers and authority figures. All of these elements are undermined when sexual misconduct occurs, possibly causing irreparable damage to the victims.
Sexual misconduct includes sexual abuse, sexual harassment and rape. It involves any touching or non-touching sexual interaction that is non-consensual or forced, coerced or manipulated, or perpetrated in an aggressive, harassing, exploitative or threatening manner.
Sexual abuse includes any sexual activity where consent is not or cannot be given, including:
- All sexual contact between an adult and a child under the age of 18.
- Any sexual contact that occurs through force or threat of force.
- Sexual contact between an older child and a younger child when a significant disparity in age, development or size makes the younger child incapable of offering consent.
Examples of Sexual Misconduct
- Fondling an athlete’s breasts or buttocks
- Exchange of reward in sport (e.g., team placement, scores, feedback) for sexual favors
- Genital contact
- Sexual relations or intimacies between participants in a position of trust, authority and/or evaluative and supervisory control over athletes or other sport participants
- Sexually-oriented comments, jokes or innuendo made to or about an athlete, or other sexually harassing behavior
- A coach discussing his or her sex life with an athlete
- A coach asking an athlete about his or her sex life
- A coach requesting or sending a nude or partial-dress photo to athlete
- Exposing athletes to pornographic material
- Sending athletes sexually-explicit or suggestive electronic or written messages or photos (e.g., “sexting”)
- Deliberately exposing an athlete to sexual acts
- Deliberately exposing an athlete to nudity (except in situations where locker rooms and changing areas are shared)
- Sexual harassment; specifically, the sexual solicitation, physical advances, or verbal or nonverbal conduct that is sexual in nature