Interpersonal violence in sport

Project group: Kari Fasting (Project manager, Siv Gjesdal and Nina Sølvberg at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences and Cecilie Prebensen, Julie Karima Berg and Håvard Øvregård at the Norwegian Sport Federation



We have very little knowledge about the incidence and prevalence of harassment and abuse in Norwegian sport. The largest prevalence study was done more than 20 years ago, only covering sexual harassment and female elite level athletes. Accordingly there is a lack of knowledge about other forms of violence, children and men, and recreational sports. There is also a need for updated and new information about the experiences of non-accidental violence among females and males in elite level sport.

The objective of the project is to gain knowledge that can be useful for the work of safeguarding that already is going on in Norwegian Sport. We want to uncover risky situations and risk groups.

We have two main research questions: 1. The first concerns incidence and prevalence: What is the prevalence and incidence rate of different forms of non-accidental violence among active members in sport clubs; What characterize members who have had such experiences and members who perform such acts (the perpetrators), and where do these situations occur? 2. The second concerns whistleblowing and reporting. Do the club members know how to report, have they reported, if not, why did they not report, what kind of non-accidental violence is it that is reported?


Methods for data gathering will be a Questionnaire, among active members in Norwegian Sport. Active members cover also leaders, coaches and referees/judges/empires. We are looking at youth and young adults, our age range is 18-30 years of age. We want to cover sexual, psychological and physical violence. It will be an incidence study: We want to survey experiences last year as well as prevalence or life-time experiences in their childhood - up to 18 years of age. This is important for comparison with studies in other countries and getting some knowledge about the experiences of children in Norwegian sport.

The project is financed by the IOC and a collaboration with The Norwegian Sport Federation