Sexual offences in amateur sport | CBC Kids News

Sexual offences in amateur sport | CBC Kids News


Reporter: An exclusive
joint investigation by CBC News and Sports
reveals a dire problem. Woman: Kids
need to know that they need to
trust their gut. We have to be having
these conversations. A recent investigation
held by CBC News and CBC Sports revealed that
there is a big problem in amateur sports. Sports like
hockey, soccer, and gymnastics. According to the
data that CBC compiled, there are a lot of coaches
who have been accused and convicted of
sexual offenses. Reporter: CBC examined
thousands of court records across the country
spanning two decades. During that time, 222
coaches were convicted of a sexual offense
against a minor. But what does that mean? What should kids like
you and me do if we find ourselves in an
uncomfortable situation? Noni: My name
is Noni Classen. I’m the director
of education at the Canadian Centre
for Child Protection. Callie: What is a
sexual offense? Noni: Sexual
offenses start from any sexual attention
from an adult. It could also include
asking for sexual pictures, that would include
a sexual offense of a child, and as well
as any sexual touching or invitation to touching. Callie: What should
kids know about what’s appropriate and
what’s not appropriate? Noni: Kids have a
really intuitive nature of knowing what’s OK
and what’s not OK. So if an adult or somebody
is giving them attention that makes them
uncomfortable, always they can use
the measure of any sexual attention at all from
an adult is not OK. Callie: If kids feel
uncomfortable with someone,
what should they do? Noni: When kids are
going to come forward with something that makes
them uncomfortable, they need to know that
even though it’s scary and it can make kids worried
to say something because they get worried of the
reaction of the adult, safe adults are
more concerned with kids being safe
over anything else. Whether kids have
made mistakes or how the situation happened
or what kids are going to say, their number one concern
is that they want to know whatever kids
have to tell them, because they’re going
to step in and make sure they’re going to
help protect them. Callie: Over the past
20 years in 37 different sports, 340 people have
been charged and 222 have
been convicted, which means they
were found guilty. There are currently 33
cases before the courts. Hi, my name is
Addison Bechard, I’m a 12-year-old
gymnast from Calgary. [music] When we have to
have these difficult conversations, is
it uncomfortable? Addison: At first, but I
know everybody should have them. How did it make you feel
that our sport was being looked at in a
really negative way? I feel horrible
about that, because people shouldn’t
look at a sport like that because some people
made really bad mistakes. I do feel very
safe at my sport, because I know my coaches
would never do that. But still, if you’re
travelling to other gyms or anything like that, you
always have to be careful and keep your
wits about you, because you never know. If a coach wasn’t spotting
me in a way that was appropriate, I would
have probably told my mom. The comfortable
places are your arms, your legs, your
like, your shoulders. But the uncomfortable
is your chest area, maybe your lower body. Sexual abuse is not
always in sports. It could be your
teacher, a family member, it really doesn’t matter. What’s your
opinion on the research? My opinion on
the research is that it’s incredibly
concerning. Parents trust kids
to be with coaches and kids build important
relationships with coaches, so when
coaches misuse that trust to victimize a child,
it’s incredibly serious. I think what this is going
to bring to light is I think parents are going
to be surprised by this, and they need to remember
we have to be having these conversations, right? And we need to be
talking about it more. Addison: It’s not easy
to have that conversation because it’s a
serious matter, but you have to have
those conversations. Callie: If you have
questions or have ever felt uncomfortable,
talk to a parent, guardian, or safe adult. You can also call
KIDS HELP PHONE at 1-800-668-6868 or you
can live chat them at KidsHelpPhone.ca. For CBC Kids News,
I’m Callie Lane.

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