One in Five

“Sport without fear – our concern, our response”,
parallel session at 6th International Working Group (IWG) World Conference on Women and Sport


17.06.2014 - Sport should be a positive and enriching experience for women and girls, but this is not always the case. Promoting a safe environment in sports and protecting women and girls from the risks of falling victim to gender-based violence and sexual exploitation and abuse are some of the key issues addressed at a panel session organised by the Council of Europe, that took place in Helsinki on 14 June, during the 6th International Working Group (IWG) World Conference on Women and Sport.

This parallel session aimed at raising awareness of the Council of Europe’s international legal standards that target the specific issues of domestic violence, sexual exploitation and sexual abuse, and of the useful tools that could be used to talk to children about the risks of sexual abuse and exploitation.

One of the panellists, Ms Marja Ruotanen, Director of Human Dignity and Equality of the Council of Europe emphasised that the implementation of legal standards, such as the Lanzarote Convention and the Istanbul Convention, is the responsibility of everyone and not of the member states alone.

Another panellist, Mr Theo Fleury, former NHL ice hockey player, shared his story of being a victim, aged between 14 and 16, of sexual abuse and violence by his coach, and pointed out that in his opinion the only way to combat sexual abuse is to speak up, breaking the silence.

For more information on this event, please visit the following webpage: