“Confronting” report discovers a systematic culture of abuse in Australian gymnastics

Independent report Published by the Australian Commission on Human Rights, it has discovered a culture of abuse, illegal activity, bullying, and sexual harassment in Australian gymnastics.

Published May 3, this report was commissioned in August 2020 after sharing the personal abuse experience detailed by the gymnastics community, including former athletes and parents, worldwide.

Among the five key findings, the report reports that current coaching practices “create the risk of abusing and harming athletes” and “all of the behaviors that may constitute child abuse and neglect in gymnastics.” There is not enough focus on understanding the scope. “

Also, the emphasis on sports to “win at all costs” and the acceptance of negative and abusive coaching behavior “silences athletes’ voices and increases the risk of abuse and harm.” I also mentioned that. Long-term impact on gymnasts.

The report also found that gymnastics at all levels did not “handle abuse and harm complaints appropriately and appropriately” and did not effectively protect children and adolescents.

In addition, interviewees reported examples of sexual misconduct and abuse that occurred during training sessions “in both public and hidden spaces.” Examples included strength training, which is used as a punishment, and “excessive stretching” exercises, which can cause athletes to weep and injure themselves.

We also found that pre-pubertal female athletes criticized the achievement of an “ideal body” and that body shaming was prevalent in sports.

In addition, several interviewees continued to address related eating disorders and mental health issues until adulthood, the report said.

“The human rights of athletes around the world are in the spotlight, and many of the lessons learned from this review are important to all Australian sports,” said Kate Jenkinson, a sexist commissioner who led the study.

One of the 12 recommendations proposed for implementation was that Australian gymnastics would provide formal acknowledgments and apologies to those who experienced “all forms of abuse” in sports.

Another recommendation called for an external independent agency to investigate all future allegations of child abuse and neglect, illegal activity, bullying, sexual harassment and assault.

so statement Announced on the same day, Gymnastics Australia apologized “unconditionally” to all athletes and their families who experienced some form of abuse in sports.

“In recent years, important work has been done to improve athlete and coach policies, education and support mechanisms that span child safety and athlete well-being, but there is clearly much to do,” said Gymnastics Australia. Stated.

“We have an unwavering commitment to respecting rights and providing an environment that supports the well-being of all participants, from grassroots to the state and national levels of sports.”

Gymnastics Australia also thanked the athletes and community members for participating in the Commission’s review and said it would adopt 12 recommendations from the “Face Face” report.

The report included 47 interviews with 57 participants and 138 written submissions from current and former athletes and their families, staff, coaches, officers, and administrators.

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If you need mental health and support, Lifeline australia To 13 1114.