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Step 1: Getting started

3 minute read

Key tasks

  • Identify staff to lead the work internally 
  • Understand violence against women and how sporting organisations can prevent it 
  • Secure genuine commitment from leaders 
  • Ensure your organisation can respond to staff, players and volunteers who experience abuse and violence

Helpful tools

Group of women stretching on a field before a soccer game.

Identify who will lead the work internally

Experience and evidence tells us that for sporting organisations to make an impact on this issue, it requires strong leadership endorsement, supportive governance structures, and culture that actively seeks and supports equality and respect across the whole of sport.  

The first step in undertaking prevention initiatives is to identify who is best placed to lead the change process. It is important that staff involved are in a variety of positions that cover key areas of your sport, for example player welfare, coaching and match officiating, diversity and inclusion staff and human resources. It is important that staff are also in positions where they have access to resources and can make decisions regarding changes to strategies, policies and procedures – it will be a team effort. 

Understand violence against women and how your organisation can prevent it

Many people know that violence against women is a serious issue but there are many myths and misunderstandings about what drives violence and how we can prevent it. It’s important to make sure the key people in your sporting organisation who will support efforts to achieve equality and respect are adequately trained. This is not just so you have a strong shared understanding of what to address and key steps to take but so everyone is equipped to respond to questions, concerns and feedback. 

Secure genuine commitment from leaders  

To ensure this work is done effectively across your organisation, it is important to secure genuine commitment from leaders within your sport. Investing some time and energy to help leaders understand that your sporting organisation has the powerresponsibility and influence to prevent violence against women is important at this step. Getting leaders on board will include: 

  • training to make sure they understand violence against women and the role of the organisation in prevention 
  • discussing the business case for gender equality
  • connecting gender equality to the values and goals of the organisation. 

Make sure you’re ready to respond to staff who experience violence 

Before starting work across the organisation, prepare your organisation to respond to those experiencing violence. This may be through the provision of training and through the introduction of appropriate policies and procedures, for example a domestic violence leave policy. 

Practical examples of how the above steps can look in your sporting organisation can be found in the Embedding Diversity and Inclusion in Sport resource and Part 2 of the Implementation Guide. 

Next step

Step 2: Developing an action plan