Montréal (Québec) – The Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada (SDRCC) is pleased to announce the launch of a national toll-free sport helpline to offer assistance to victims or witnesses of harassment, abuse or discrimination. The anonymous, confidential and independent service will allow them to share and validate their concerns, obtain advice on required next steps, and be referred to other appropriate resources for follow up.
The Canadian Sport Helpline, funded by the Government of Canada, is a listening and referral service monitored by live operators from 8 am to 8 pm Eastern time, 7 days a week. Users will have a choice of communicating via a toll-free phone line, email, text or live chat, in the official language of their choice.
This professional listening and referral service is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week, by phone or text at 1-888-83SPORT (77678), and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The helpline is to encourage people to speak out and seek help, when they do not know where else to turn,” declared Marie-Claude Asselin, Chief Executive Officer of the SDRCC. “It is not only for victims, it is also for witnesses. By-standers have the power to eliminate abuse by coming forward not only for the current victim but for all potential victims. This is a critical part of our service. Safe sport is everyone’s responsibility and Minister Kirsty Duncan reaffirms it by supporting this pilot project” added Ms. Asselin.
The service, available since March 11, 2019, is run in partnership with the Canadian Centre for Mental Health in Sport (CCMHS), which assembled a team of practitioners with expertise in counselling, psychology, and sport to act as helpline operators. “This is a very important and timely initiative that is in line with the CCMHS’ mandate and values,” said Dr. Natalie Durand-Bush, CCMHS Co-Founder and Sport Psychology Professor. “We are extremely pleased to have formed this partnership with the SDRCC to help reduce all forms of maltreatment in sport.”
The Canadian Sport Helpline will collaborate with other similar initiatives, such as Sport’Aide in Quebec, the Manitoba Sport Support Line and Respect in Sport. Referrals to these existing services will be provided by the helpline operators where appropriate.
The webpage of the helpline can be found at the following link: www.abuse-free-sport.ca
Financial Support for the Investigation Unit
The SDRCC would also like to thank the Government of Canada for its financial contribution to the Investigation Unit. Launched in December 2018, this pilot project proposes a list of independent and experienced professionals from across Canada, qualified to conduct investigations, to assist federally-funded sport organizations in handling complaints and allegations. These investigation services are offered on a voluntary and fee-for-service basis. More information on this program can be found at the following link: http://www.crdsc-sdrcc.ca/eng/investigation-unit
The SDRCC is a not-for-profit corporation created by federal legislation and funded by the Government of Canada. The mission of the SDRCC is to provide the sport community with a national alternative dispute resolution service and strengthen the culture of fairness in Canadian sport by resolving disputes quickly and efficiently and to provide expertise and assistance regarding alternative dispute resolution.