Van Snick and Mansour launch #balancetonsport: “The humiliations, blackmail, insults, gender-based violence in sport … we have experienced this”
The first action consists of a compilation of videos of testimonials from professional sportswomen and amateurs denouncing the violence suffered in the context of sport. The videos are available on Charline Van Snick’s Facebook and Instagram pages and YouTube channel.
“As we approach March 8, International Women’s Day, we questioned ourselves with Lola Mansour, about our rights as top athletes,” Van Snick said in a statement. “In a very short time, we formed a think tank with several (professionals and amateurs) in order to discuss our respective experiences. The tongues loosened, the memories emerged. All we had to take, as witnesses, victims (direct or collateral): humiliations, denigration, blackmail, insults, gender-based violence … Each continued: ‘yes, I experienced that too!’. That’s why that we made these videos ourselves. It had to come out! “
“The finding is alarming and this is only the tip of the iceberg”, continue Van Snick and Mansour. The video denounces sexist behavior in sport, from trivialized remarks to cases of extreme abuse. The objective was to give a voice to the people concerned, namely sportswomen, without fear of reprisals. “There are 1001 reasons which can prevent a sportswoman from testifying”, explain the judokates: “too much pressure, fear of being deprived of selections, no alternative, lack of perspective for a ‘awareness’, influence of the coaches, lack of support from official bodies etc. “
The press release recalls that a survey carried out in 2015 revealed that one athlete in seven had been the victim of sexual violence before turning 18. “How many wasted lives and destroyed careers ignored? We have sufficiently probed, studied, analyzed, explained: discrimination, invisibilization, harassment, violence … We know how many and why! Enough statistics, nothing really change. We demand the end of the omerta in the world of sport, shame and fear must, once and for all, change sides! “.
The hope of sportswomen through this action is “to sensitize public opinion but above all to encourage the responsible authorities to put in place direct and effective measures”. “Beyond the observation, we demand action!”, Concludes the press release.