BSDA held focus groups under the RISE project
In the period March – June 2024, Bulgarian sports development association held a series of focus groups under the Rise Empowered Above Sexual Violence in Sports project, in which athletes, administrators, coaches and experts participated. Rise Empowered Above Sexual Violence in Sports or simply RISE is an Erasmus Plus co-funded initiative, aiming to address the issue of sexual violence in sports.
RISE initiative focuses on combating sexual violence within the realm of sports, taking a multi-pronged approach. Firstly, it aims to formulate and advocate for a comprehensive framework consisting of policies, guidelines, and resources designed to prevent sexual violence. These will be tailored for adoption by various stakeholders in the sports community, drawing from established practices from prior EU projects and substantiated by authentic data collected during ongoing research studies. Secondly, the project seeks to foster awareness, sensitivity, and knowledge among individuals and entities involved in sports. It aims to equip them with the necessary tools and expertise to prevent instances of sexual violence effectively. By doing so, it endeavors to establish a secure and safe sporting environment, intervening proactively to thwart potential incidents of sexual violence. Lastly, the project intends to educate young individuals within the sports domain, particularly athletes, about sexual violence. It strives to educate them on recognizing risk indicators, adopting preventive measures, and understanding the procedures for reporting and accessing support in the event of victimization. This comprehensive strategy aims to empower the youth and protect them from the perils of sexual violence within the sports sphere.

• Research Studies: Extensive research studies will be conducted to assess the needs of key stakeholders in the sports community. These studies will aim to gauge their knowledge, skills, and awareness levels concerning the prevention of sexual violence in sports. Furthermore, the research will focus on quantifying the prevalence of various forms of sexual violence within the sports environment;
• Development of Resources: The project will create protocols, guides, and handbooks designed to serve as effective tools for combating sexual violence in sports. These resources will provide clear guidelines and procedures for stakeholders to follow;
• Educational and Training Programs: An educational and training program dedicated to preventing sexual violence in sports will be developed. This program will be accessible through an E-Learning Training Platform, providing comprehensive resources for learning and skill enhancement;
• Sensitization and Awareness Actions: The initiative will include workshops aimed at enhancing practical skills, knowledge, and sensitization on the prevention of sexual violence. Additionally, audio-visual tools and materials will be created to raise awareness and educate stakeholders about this critical issue;
• Dissemination and Exploitation of Results: The project will emphasize disseminating its findings and utilizing the knowledge gained. The dissemination will involve sharing research reports, publishing protocols, policies, and guides, as well as conducting workshops, European forums, and informational days.

The primary beneficiaries of these efforts will be the various stakeholders in the sports community. The outputs of this project will encompass a wide range of resources, including research reports, published protocols and policies, an e-learning platform, audio-visual materials, workshops, as well as European forums and informational events. These outputs aim to effectively equip sports stakeholders with the necessary tools and knowledge to prevent and combat sexual violence in sports settings.

The project is supported by the #ErasmusPlus Programme of the European Union, coordinated by Social Policy and Action Organization from Cyprus, in partnership with organizations from Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy and Spain and will deliver activities in the period 2024 – 2026.