Ex-gymnast Gloria Viseras Says The Sport Is Perfect For Committing Abuse

Patricia Mota

Palma, Oct 24 (EFE) .- Former Spanish gymnast Gloria Viseras, founder of the non-profit organization 'Gold, Silver and Bronze', says that sexual abuse is the last line of violence in sport, although for her there are other ways of using force and intimidation that precede this violation of sexual freedom.

It defends that society and sports clubs 'take a lot of importance' to violence in this area despite the fact that it is 'very harmful to children' and details Efe the different types of violence to which athletes are subjected, such as Emotional, physical, psychological, insults, neglect, and bullying.


The organization it represents is dedicated to work to reduce the risk of athletes suffering any type of violence in sports environments.

'We raise awareness, training, workshops, we work with public institutions and at European and global level. We do a little what we can, 'he admitted.

Viseras has visited Palma this Thursday to participate in the conference 'Good practices in the prevention of sexual abuse of minors', organized by the City Council of Palma and the Frog Foundation.

He has specified that his mission is to prevent other types of violence in sports settings so that sexual abuse does not occur.

Regarding the increased visibility of these types of cases in the media, Viseras has argued that today's society is 'more sensitized' thanks to the work of many associations, such as the Frog Foundation.

However, he stressed that in the decade of the 80s there was an institutionalized abuse of athletes in many European and communist countries and that although it is currently 'seen a little more' many cases continue to occur, since it is something that is very normalized and It is not reported.

'That's where we work', has influenced and clarified that one of the difficulties of these abuses is the young age of the children who suffer them.

"As adults we know very well what the limit of suffering is," he said.

He has also differentiated between the things that must be done to be a good athlete and the humiliation or abuse that some of them suffer to try to improve their sports discipline.

'For example you have to know that to be a good athlete you have to do 6,000 abs, but that is a type of suffering that you know you have to endure. But what you don't have to endure is that they call you fat, abnormal, whore … This is another kind of suffering. As an adult we know how to differentiate it, but the children do not know, 'said the former gymnast, who has remarked' people confuse discipline with abuse and submission. '

"All this is what we want to eradicate from sport, we want athletes to be treated with respect," he said.

Viseras also explained that the objective to be pursued is that the child is safer speaking than remaining silent and is able to ask for help, even if not directly to one of the parents, it is enough that it is a person Trusted adult.

In his opinion, the solution to end this problem is to 'make a change of culture' and has set as an example the change that took place in education by ceasing to allow students to stick in schools.

'In sport that change has not yet been made and must be done. A cultural change and methodology so that children are not the vehicle for parents to be successful, 'he said.

For the ex-gymnast 'children have their own voice and desires and must be included in the decision making'.

In addition, he has criticized that very few sports clubs have a complete protection strategy, so he has demanded that they establish control mechanisms, regulations, good practices and rules for the safe recruitment of personnel.

Regarding the data on child sexual abuse in sport, Viseras has indicated that in most cases the abusers are adult men who propagate with girls.

"Sport is one of the environments where those who want to abuse children find a perfect environment where they can do it," he lamented.

He also stressed that the latest studies highlight a rebound in cases of sexual abuse and harassment between partners with an unequal power relationship, in which 'there is always one that has more power than the other'.

In these cases, the strategy that must be followed is to train athletes to ensure that if a partner finds out about something, they will count it and that the person will be able to report it.

"It's about seeing how to act with the child who has been violated and seeing what happens to the abusive child," he concluded. EFE