SafeSport


Commitment to the BC Universal Code of Conduct

On September 27, 2021, the Field Hockey BC Board of Directors formally adopted the BC Universal Code of Conduct.

BRITISH COLUMBIA UNIVERSAL CODE OF CONDUCT (BC UCC)

You can access a PDF version of BC-UCC here.

1 PURPOSE

1.1 The British Columbia sport sector is committed to advancing a respectful sport culture that delivers quality, inclusive, welcoming and safe sport experiences.

1.2 The BC UCC incorporates the key elements of the Universal Code of Conduct to Prevent and Address Maltreatment in Sport (UCCMS) in place at the national level and outlines expected and Prohibited Behaviours of conduct in sport in B.C.

2 GENERAL PRINCIPLES AND COMMITMENT

2.1 Sport organizations in British Columbia are committed to creating a sport environment that is accessible, inclusive, respects their Participants personal goals and is free from all forms of Maltreatment. Maltreatment in all its forms is a serious issue that undermines the health, well-being, performance and security of individuals, communities, and society.

2.2 Maltreatment is unacceptable and fundamentally incompatible with the core values that lie at the heart of Canadian sport. The commitments expressed below reflect this common understanding amongst Canadian sport stakeholders:

  • 2.2.1 All Participants in sport can expect to play, practice, compete, work, and interact in an environment free from Maltreatment.
  • 2.2.2 All Participants recognize that Maltreatment can occur regardless of race, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, class background, ability, and religion. Moreover, it is recognized that those from marginalized groups have increased vulnerability to experiences of Maltreatment.
  • 2.2.3 All Participants recognize that persons who have experienced Maltreatment may experience a range of effects that may emerge at different times and that can profoundly affect their lives.
  • 2.2.4 Addressing the causes and consequences of Maltreatment is a collective responsibility and requires the deliberate efforts of all Participants, sport stakeholders, sport club administrators and organization leaders.

3 DEFINITIONS

3.1 Boundary Transgressions: interactions or communications that breach reasonable boundaries between Participants and are inconsistent with duties/responsibilities of the individual. See section 6.8.

3.2 Consent: the voluntary agreement to engage in the sexual activity in question, by a person who has the legal capacity to consent. See section 6.6.

3.3 Criminal Code: The Criminal Code of Canada (Criminal Code, R.S.C. 1985, c. C-46, as amended).

3.4 Disclosure: The sharing of information by a Participant regarding an incident or a pattern of Maltreatment experienced by that Participant, including a breach of reasonable boundaries. Disclosure does not constitute a formal Report to initiate a conduct review process.

3.5 Discrimination: Differential treatment of an individual based on one or more prohibited grounds which include race, citizenship, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, martial status, family status, genetic characteristics or disability. See section 6.9.

3.6 Duty to Report: The Child, Family and Community Service Act requires that anyone who has reason to believe that a Minor has been or is likely to be abused or Neglected, and that the parent is unwilling or unable to protect the Minor, must Report the suspected abuse or Neglect to a child welfare worker.

3.7 Federated Sport: All activities organized by a viaSport Accredited Provincial Sport Organization (PSO)and/or its members, or by a viaSport Accredited Disability Sport Organization (DSO) and/or its members, or by a viaSport Accredited Multi-Sport Organization (MSO) and/or its members.

3.8 Grooming: Deliberate conduct by a Participant to sexualize a relationship with a Participant, most commonly but not exclusively with a Minor or Vulnerable Participant. See section 6.7.

3.9 Maltreatment: A volitional act or omission that results in harm or has the potential for physical or psychological harm1 described in Sections 6.3-6.7.

3.10 Minor: An individual who is under the age of majority. In British Columbia, a Minor is an individual under 19 years old. It is at all times the responsibility of the adult Participant to know the age of a Minor.

3.11 Neglect: Any pattern or a single incident of lack of reasonable care, inattention to a Participant’s needs, nurturing or well-being, or omissions in care. See section 6.5.

3.12 Participant: Any individual who is subject to the BC UCC. Participants may become subject to the BC UCC by various means: Individuals (athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers, administrators, directors, trainers, etc) through membership in a Federated Sport organization and/or by signing an express contract accepting the jurisdiction of the BC UCC. This could include A parent or legal guardian of a Minor registered in a Federated Sport in British Columbia becomes a Participant and is therefore subject to the BC UCC.

3.13 Physical Maltreatment: any pattern or a single incident of deliberate conduct that has the potential to be harmful to the physical well-being of the Participant. See section 6.4.

3.14 Power Imbalance: A Power Imbalance is presumed to exist where a person has authority or control over a Participant, is in a position to confer, grant or deny a benefit or advancement to the person, or is responsible for the physical or psychological well-being of the Participant. Whether an actual Power Imbalance exists will be determined based on the totality of the circumstances, including the subjective view of the subordinate Participant. Maltreatment occurs when the Power Imbalance is misused.

  • 3.14.1 Once a coach-athlete relationship is established, a Power Imbalance exists throughout the coach-athlete relationship, regardless of the age of the athlete, and is presumed to continue for Minor athletes after the coach-athlete relationship terminates or until the athlete reaches 25 years of age.
  • 3.14.2 A Power Imbalance may exist, but is not presumed, where an intimate relationship existed between two adult Participants before the sport relationship commenced (e.g., a relationship between two spouses or life partners, or a sexual relationship between Consenting adults that preceded the sport relationship).
  • 3.14.3 A presumption that Power Imbalance exists may be rebutted.
  • 3.14.4 A Power Imbalance may arise whether the Participants are in 1) an authority-based relationship in which one person has power over another by virtue of an ascribed position of authority, such as between high performance director and coach; employer and employee; technical official and athlete; 2) a dependency relationship in which the person in a position of lesser power is dependent upon the other person for a sense of security, safety, trust, and fulfillment of needs, conducive to intimate physical or psychological connections, such as between parent and child; teacher and student; person with a disability and attendant; coach and athlete; high performance director and athlete; sport science and medical support staff and athlete; billet or host family and athlete; and 3) a peer-to-peer relationship, including but not limited to teammate-teammate, athlete-athlete, coach-coach or official-official relationships.
  • 3.14.5 Power may be represented by seniority, ability, physical size, public profile, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, ethno-racial identity, level of physical and intellectual disability, and their intersections, as some examples.
  • 3.14.6 Maltreatment occurs when this power is misused. Moreover, it is recognized that those from traditionally marginalized groups have experienced positions of lesser power.

3.15 Prohibited Behaviour: Any of the conduct described in Section 6, including but not limited to Maltreatment.

3.16 Psychological Maltreatment: Any pattern or a single incident of deliberate conduct that has the potential to be harmful to the psychological well-being of the Participant. See section 6.3.

3.17 Reporting (or Report): The provision of information in writing by a Participant or by any person to a relevant independent authority, regarding Prohibited Behaviour. Reporting may occur through either: (i) the Complainant (of any age) or the one who experienced the Prohibited Behaviour, or (ii) a witness – someone who witnessed the Prohibited Behaviour or otherwise knows or ought to have known of Prohibited Behaviour or a risk of Prohibited Behaviour.

3.18 Sexual Maltreatment: Any pattern or a single incident, whether physical or psychological in nature, that is committed, threatened, or attempted, in person or by electronic means and that has the potential to be harmful to the sexual integrity of a Participant. See section 6.6.

3.19 Vulnerable Participant: Persons at increased risk of Maltreatment and/or coercion, often due to age, gender, race, poverty, Indigeneity, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, psychosocial or cognitive ability, and their intersections. Vulnerable Participants include persons who are not able to provide informed Consent.

4 SCOPE OF APPLICATION

4.1 Context of Participation: The BC UCC applies to all sport activities and related events organized by Federated Sport organizations in B.C., including but not limited to practices, training sessions, competitions, and fundraising events.

4.2 Individual Subject to and Protected by the BC UCC: The BC UCC applies to all Participants active in Federated Sport. Participants, especially those in positions of trust or authority, are responsible for knowing what constitutes a Prohibited Behaviour. They shall also recognize that the categories of Maltreatment are not mutually exclusive, nor are the examples provided in each category an exhaustive list.

4.3 Context in which the BC UCC is in Effect: The BC UCC applies to any of the Prohibited Behaviours described herein, provided the Prohibited Behaviour occurs in any one or a combination of the following situations:

  • 4.3.1 Within a Federated Sport environment;
  • 4.3.2 When the Participant alleged to have committed a Prohibited Behaviour was engaging in Federated Sport activities;
  • 4.3.3 When the Participants involved interacted due to their mutual involvement in Federated Sport; or
  • 4.3.4 Outside of the Federated Sport environment where the Prohibited Behaviour has a serious and detrimental impact on another Participant or could undermine the integrity of sport or bring Federated Sport into disrepute.
  • 4.3.5 The physical location(s) where the alleged Prohibited Behaviour occurred is not determinative.

4.4 Sport-Specific Considerations: The BC UCC acknowledges that sport-specific differences exist with respect to such aspects as acceptable levels of touch, physical contact, and aggression during training or competition. However, as the BC UCC does not address rules of the game, any relevant sport-specific differences will be considered during an investigative or disciplinary review processes.

4.5 Amendments: The BC UCC may be amended from time to time by viaSport BC and amendments shall be published at least 2 months before entering into effect.

5 RESPONSIBILITIES

5.1 Every Participant in sport has a responsibility to:

  • 5.1.1 Ensure their intentions, actions and efforts reflect a commitment to prioritizing the safety of all Participants.
  • 5.1.2 Treat others with respect and dignity.
  • 5.1.3 Demonstrate the spirit of sportsmanship, leadership and ethical conduct.
  • 5.1.4 Demonstrate respect for the diversity of Participants. Act to correct or prevent practices that are unjustly discriminatory.
  • 5.1.5 Treat individuals fairly and reasonably.
  • 5.1.6 Ensure adherence to the rules of the sport and the spirit of the rules.
  • 5.1.7 Immediately Disclose or Report any acts or suspicions of Maltreatment or other inappropriate behaviours.
  • 5.1.8 Foster meaningful inclusion of all individuals.
  • 5.1.9 Accept and consider feedback with respect to their own actions and take positive steps to resolve.
  • 5.1.10 Establish, respect and maintain appropriate boundaries with Participants.
  • 5.1.11 Ensure all interactions and communications are consistent with the role of the Participant in relation to the sport, and carried out in a way that is transparent to other Participants and promotes the concept of individual accountability.
  • 5.1.12 Monitor their own behaviours and the behaviours of others.
  • 5.1.13 Treat all Disclosures, allegations or suspicions of Maltreatment seriously.
  • 5.1.14 Identify and engage in conversations that lead to positive behaviour change.
  • 5.1.15 Abstain from all forms of Prohibited Behaviours.

5.2 All Participants in a position of trust or authority have a responsibility to:

  • 5.2.1 Protect the health and well-being of all other Participants.
  • 5.2.2 Prevent or mitigate opportunities for Maltreatment and other Prohibited Behaviours.
  • 5.2.3 Respond to incidents of Maltreatment involving Minors and other Vulnerable Participants.
  • 5.2.4 Incorporate strategies to recognize systemic bias, unconscious bias, and to respond quickly and effectively to Discriminatory practices.
  • 5.2.5 Recognize when you are in a position of Power Imbalance.

6 PROHIBITED BEHAVIOURS

6.1 It is a violation of the BC UCC for a Participant to engage in the behaviours described in this section. What matters for the assessment of the Maltreatment is whether the conduct falls into one or more of the categories, not into which category it falls.

6.2 Participants in violation of the BC UCC are subject to investigation and disciplinary review processes outlined in the sport organization’s Discipline and Complaints Policy (or equivalent).

6.3 Psychological Maltreatment

  • 6.3.1 Psychological Maltreatment includes, without limitation, verbal conduct, non-assaultive physical conduct, and conduct that denies attention or support
    a) Verbal Conduct: verbally assaulting or attacking someone, including in online forms: unwarranted personal criticisms; body shaming; derogatory comments related to one’s identity (e.g. race, gender identity or expression, ethnicity, Indigenous status, disability); comments that are demeaning, humiliating, belittling, intimidating, insulting or threatening; the use of rumours or false statements about someone to diminish that person’s reputation; using confidential sport and non-sport information inappropriately.
    b) Non-assaultive physical conduct: forms of physically aggressive behaviours such as throwing objects at or in the presence of others without striking another; hitting, striking or punching objects in the presence of others.
    c) Conduct that denies attention or support: forms of lack of support or isolation such as ignoring psychological needs or socially isolating a person repeatedly or for an extended period of time; abandonment of an athlete as punishment for poor performance; arbitrarily or unreasonably denying feedback, training opportunities, support or attention for extended periods of time and/or asking others to do the same]
  • 6.3.2 Psychological Maltreatment is determined by the behaviour viewed objectively, not whether harm is intended or results from the behaviour.

6.4 Physical Maltreatment

  • 6.4.1 Physical Maltreatment includes, without limitation, contact or non-contact infliction of physical harm.
    a) Contact behaviours: deliberately punching, kicking, beating, biting, striking, strangling or slapping another; deliberately hitting another with objects; providing a massage or other purported therapeutic interventions with no specific training or expertise.
    b) Non-contact behaviours: isolating a person in a confined space; forcing a person to assume a painful stance or position for no athletic purpose (e.g., requiring an athlete to kneel on a hard surface); the use of exercise for the purposes of punishment; withholding, recommending against, or denying adequate hydration, nutrition, medical attention or sleep; denying access to a toilet; providing alcohol to a Minor Participant; providing illegal drugs or non-prescribed medications to a Participant; encouraging or knowingly permitting an athlete to return to play prematurely following any injury or after a concussion and without the clearance of a medical professional; encouraging an athlete to perform a skill for which the Participant knows or ought to know that the athlete is not developmentally ready.
  • 6.4.2 Physical Maltreatment is determined by the behaviour viewed objectively, not whether harm is intended or results from the behaviour.

6.5 Neglect

  • 6.5.1 Neglect is determined by the objective behaviour but the behaviour must be evaluated with consideration given to the Participant’s needs and requirements, not whether harm is intended or results from the behaviour.
  • 6.5.2 Examples of Neglect include without limitation: not providing an athlete recovery time and/or treatment for a sport injury; disregarding and/or not considering a person’s physical or intellectual disability; not ensuring supervision of an athlete during travel, training or competition; not considering the welfare of the athlete when prescribing dieting or other weight control methods (e.g., weigh-ins, caliper tests); disregarding the use of performance-enhancing drugs by an athlete; failure to ensure safety of equipment or environment; allowing an athlete to disregard sport’s rules, regulations, and standards; subjecting Participants to the risk of Maltreatment.

6.6 Sexual Maltreatment

  • 6.6.1 Sexual Maltreatment includes, but is not limited to,
    a) any non-Consensual touching of a sexual nature and/or the Criminal Code offence of sexual assault.
    b) participating in, forcing or coercing a person into sexual acts or performing acts on a person that violates their sexual integrity (e.g. hazing). Criminal Code offences that do not involve actual physical contact or that can occur through electronic means such as indecent exposure, voyeurism, non-Consensual distribution of sexual/intimate images, luring and agreement or arrangement to commit a sexual offence.
  • 6.6.2 Sexual harassment, which is defined as any comment or conduct of a sexual nature that is unwelcome or that would be objectively perceived as unwelcome by an outside observer, and which broadly includes jokes, remarks or gestures of a sexual or degrading nature, or distributing, displaying or promoting images or other material of a sexual or degrading nature, or any act targeting a Participant’s sexuality, gender identity or expression. It can also include stalking or harassment in person or by electronic means where the stalking or harassment is of a sexual nature.
  • 6.6.3 Sexual Maltreatment can take place through any form or means of communication (e.g. online, social media, verbal, written, visual, hazing, or through a third party).
  • 6.6.4 Sexual Maltreatment of a Minor is any Sexual Maltreatment against a Minor. It includes the items described in 6.6.1 above and also includes, but is not limited to the Criminal Code offences that are specific to individuals who are not adults or to individuals under a particular age, such as sexual exploitation, sexual interference, and any offence related to exploitation of a Minor through prostitution. Sexual Maltreatment of a Minor is not limited to acts that involve physical contact5 but can include acts that can occur in person or via electronic means such as, but not limited to, invitation to sexual touching, making sexually explicit material available to a Minor, and acts that occur only online such as luring or agreement or arrangement to commit a sexual offence against a Minor. It also includes any offence related to child pornography as that term is defined in the law in Canada.
  • 6.6.5 It is also prohibited for a Participant to create, possess, make available or distribute images that sexualize a Minor, or that contain nudity of a Minor. For the sake of clarity, it shall not constitute a violation in and of itself for a Minor Participant to create, possess, make available or distribute images of themselves.
  • 6.6.6 Sexual Maltreatment of a Minor where there is a Power Imbalance. For greater certainty and without detracting from the breadth of the acts identified in Sections 6.6.1 and 6.6.2 above, sexual acts or communications (electronic or otherwise) between any Participant with another Participant where there is a Power Imbalance are prohibited.
  • 6.6.7 Additional examples of Sexual Maltreatment include:
    a) Any sexual solicitation or advance made in the context of a relationship that involves a Power Imbalance where the person making the solicitation or advance has more power and knows or ought reasonably to know that it is unwelcome.
    b) Reprisal or a threat of reprisal for the rejection of a sexual solicitation or advance, where the reprisal is made or threatened by a person who has more power in the context of a relationship that involves a Power Imbalance, or if the person to whom the solicitation or advance is made is a Minor;
    c) Questions asked of a person about their sexual preferences, sexual history, sexual organs or sexual experiences, particularly when such questions are asked of a Minor or Vulnerable Participant;
    d) Sexual attention when the person giving the attention reasonably knows or ought to know that the attention is unwanted or unwelcome or where the object of the attention is a Minor. Sexual attention includes but is not limited to comments about a person’s appearance, body or clothing that could be objectively perceived by another person as being sexual in nature, practical jokes based on sex; intimidating sexual remarks, propositions, invitations or familiarity.
    e) Unwelcome remarks based on gender which are not of a sexual nature but which are demeaning such as derogatory gender-based jokes or comments.
  • 6.6.8 The law in Canada focuses on what the person was actually thinking and feeling at the time of the sexual activity. Sexual touching is only lawful if the person affirmatively communicated their Consent, whether through words or conduct. Silence or passivity does not equal Consent. Sexual activity is only legal when both parties Consent. The Criminal Code also says there is no Consent when:
    a) Someone says or does something that shows they are not Consenting to an activity;
    b) Someone says or does something to show they are not agreeing to continue an activity that has already started;
    c) Someone is incapable of Consenting to the activity, because, for example, they are unconscious;
    d) The Consent is a result of someone abusing a position of trust, power or authority or someone Consents on someone else’s behalf.
  • 6.6.9 A person cannot say they mistakenly believed a person was Consenting if:
    a) That belief is based on their own intoxication;
    b) They were reckless about whether the person was Consenting;
    c) They chose to ignore things that would tell them there was a lack of Consent; or
    d) They didn’t take proper steps to check if there was Consent.
  • 6.6.10 Minors cannot Consent under the following circumstances:
    a) Minors under 12 cannot Consent to any sexual activity.
    b) Minors between the ages of 12 and 15 have a limited capacity to Consent with similar-age peers (with exceptions); and
    c) Minors over 16 also cannot Consent in certain circumstances.
    d) No Minors under the age of 18 has the capacity to Consent in the context of a relationship where there is a Power Imbalance (eg -coach-athlete ).
  • 6.6.11 The responsibility for ensuring there is Consent is on the person who is initiating or pursuing the sexual activity. When someone has said no to sexual contact, the other person cannot rely on the fact that time has passed or the fact that the individual has not said no again to assume that Consent now exists.
  • 6.6.12 No one can legally Consent in advance to sexual activity in the future when they will be unconscious.
  • 6.6.13 No one can legally Consent to sexual activity where they will suffer bodily harm, such as activity that will cause serious bruises, stitches or broken bones.

6.7 Grooming

  • 6.7.1 Grooming may be conduct that precedes other behaviours defined as Sexual Maltreatment, or is carried out in conjunction with other forms of Sexual Maltreatment.7 Repeated Boundary Transgressions by a Participant toward a Minor or Vulnerable Participant may also be deemed to be Grooming, even in the absence of deliberate intention to facilitate a sexual relationship.
  • 6.7.2 In assessing whether Grooming has occurred, the existence of a Power Imbalance should be taken into account.
  • 6.7.3 Grooming is a term used to describe a process that is engaged in by an individual and can be comprised of one or several acts that, viewed objectively, make it easier to either engage in Sexual Maltreatment or reduce the chance that Sexual Maltreatment will be Reported. The process is often gradual and involves building trust and comfort with a young person, and sometimes also with the protective adults and peers around the person. It may begin with subtle behaviours that may not appear to be inappropriate but that can serve to sexualize a relationship, reduce sexual inhibitions, or normalize inappropriate behaviour. It may include the testing of boundaries (e.g., seemingly accidental touching) that gradually escalates to Sexual Maltreatment (e.g. sexualized touching). It is acknowledged that many victims/survivors of sexual abuse do not recognize the Grooming process as it is happening, nor do they recognize that this process of manipulation is part of the overall abuse process.

6.8 Boundary Transgressions

  • 6.8.1 It may be the case that a particular act or communication does not meet the threshold of any of the types of Maltreatment, but is an act or communication that is nonetheless viewed as inappropriate. Even if the act in question does not, on its own, objectively cause harm to another person, a Boundary Transgression is nonetheless an act that should be corrected in order to ensure the safety and security of all members involved in sport.
  • 6.8.2 Recognizing that there may be a need to be flexible in the way in which such Boundary Transgressions are addressed, a Boundary Transgression may trigger a process whereby the circumstances are reviewed and potentially resolved informally or a formal conduct review is initiated.
  • 6.8.3 Consequences can range from formal disciplinary action to simply recording the circumstances and its resolution and retaining it in the record of the Participant in the event future Boundary Transgressions occur.
  • 6.8.4 The concept of Boundary Transgressions is intended to be broad in scope. By way of example and not limitation, a Boundary Transgression may be a circumstance where:
    a) one person uses contact information available to the person for the purpose of sport, to make contact with a person for a purpose that is not related to sport;
    b) a Participant uses or attempts to use a line of communication with another Participant that is not within the typical communication channels;
    c) communicating privately with a Minor through social media or text;
    d) sharing personal photographs;
    e) shared use of locker rooms;
    f) one-on-one meetings that are not held in an open and observable environment;
    g) private travel or transportation,
    h) and providing personal gifts

6.9 Discrimination

  • 6.9.1 The following are examples of discriminatory practices if they are based on one or more of the grounds of Discrimination within the definition (see section 3.5)
    a) Denying someone access to sport
    b) Treating a Participant unfairly
    c) Communicating hate messages or unwelcome remarks or jokes

6.10 Subjecting a Participant to the Risk of Maltreatment

  • 6.10.1 It is a violation for sport administrators or other sport decision-makers in positions of authority to place Participants in situations that they know or ought to have known make the Participant vulnerable to Maltreatment.
  • 6.10.2 Examples of subjecting a Participant to the risk of Maltreatment: instructing an athlete and coach to share a hotel room when traveling, hiring a coach who has a past history of athlete Maltreatment, assigning guides and other support staff to a para-athlete when the guide or support staff has a reputation for athlete Maltreatment or assigning a guide or support staff to a para-athlete in the absence of consultation with the para-athlete.

6.11 Aiding and Abetting

  • 6.11.1 Aiding and Abetting is any act taken with the purpose of directly assisting, furthering, facilitating, promoting, or encouraging the commission of Maltreatment by or against a Participant.
  • 6.11.2 Aiding and Abetting also includes, without limitation, knowingly allowing any person who has been suspended or is otherwise ineligible to be in any way associated with sport or to coach or instruct Participants; providing any coaching-related advice or service to an athlete who has been suspended or is otherwise ineligible; and allowing any person to violate the terms of their suspension or any other sanctions imposed.

6.12 Failure to Report

  • 6.12.1 Failure to Report possible Maltreatment, Prohibited Behaviour or Boundary Transgressions toward a Minor:
    a) Notwithstanding the legal Duty to Report child abuse and Neglect under Canadian child welfare laws in Canada, it is a violation for an adult Participant to fail to Report possible Maltreatment, Prohibited Behaviour or Boundary Transgression toward a Minor if the adult Participant knew or ought to have known that it is occurring. The obligation includes Reporting, on a timely basis, any and all relevant information of which an adult Participant becomes aware.
    b) Known or suspected abuse or Neglect of a child by a parent must be Reported to: local child welfare services (e.g., children’s aid society or child and family services agency), or provincial social service ministries or departments, or local police. In addition, where abuse or Neglect by a third party is known or suspected, and the child’s parent is unwilling or unable to protect the child, it must be Reported to: local child welfare services (e.g., children’s aid society or child and family services agency), or provincial social service ministries or departments, or local police. A Participant should not investigate or attempt to evaluate the credibility or validity of an allegation of Prohibited Behaviour. A Participant making a good faith Report is not required to prove the Report is true before Reporting. To Report Child Abuse in B.C. call 1-800-663-9122.
  • 6.12.2 Failure to Report possible Maltreatment, Prohibited Behaviour or Boundary Transgressions toward an adult Participant
    a) It is a violation for any Participant who knew or ought to have known of another Participant’s inappropriate conduct to fail to Report such conduct, even if it is not defined as Maltreatment. Those in positions of trust or authority who become aware of a Participant’s Boundary Transgression(s) have an enhanced responsibility for Reporting the concern through the relevant channels. A Participant who fails to Report may be subject to disciplinary action
    b) The person making the Report does not need to determine whether a violation took place: instead, the responsibility lies in Reporting the objective behaviour. Early intervention is required to prevent such escalation, hence the obligation on all Participants to Report.

6.13 Intentionally Filing a False Allegation

  • 6.13.1 It is a violation to file a knowingly false allegation, or influence another to file a knowingly false allegation, that a Participant engaged in Maltreatment. An allegation is false if the events Reported did not occur, and the person making the Report knows the events did not occur.
  • 6.13.2 A false allegation is different from an unsubstantiated allegation; an unsubstantiated allegation means there is insufficient supporting evidence to determine whether an allegation is true or false. Absent demonstrable bad faith, an unsubstantiated allegation alone is not a violation.

6.14 Interference with or Manipulation of Process

  • 6.14.1 It is a violation of the BC UCC for a Participant to directly or indirectly interfere with or manipulate an investigation or disciplinary review process by:
    a) knowingly falsifying, distorting, or misrepresenting information, the resolution process, or an outcome;
    b) destroying or concealing information with the intent to interfere with or influence the outcome of the resolution process;
    c) attempting to discourage a person’s proper participation in or use of the processes;
    d) harassing or intimidating (verbally or physically) any person involved in the processes before, during, and/or following any proceedings;
    e) failing to comply with any temporary or provisional measure or final sanction; or
    f) influencing or attempting to influence another person to interfere with or manipulate the process.

6.15 Retaliation

  • 6.15.1 A Participant shall not take an adverse action against any person for making a good faith Report of possible Prohibited Behaviour or for participating in any process.
  • 6.15.2 Retaliation includes threatening, intimidating, harassing, coercing or any other conduct that would discourage a reasonable person from engaging or participating in an investigation or disciplinary review processes. Retaliation after the conclusion of these processes is also prohibited, even where there is a finding that no Prohibited Behaviour occurred. Retaliation does not include good-faith actions lawfully pursued in response to a Report of possible Prohibited Behaviour.

Field Hockey BC Safe Sport Overview

Field Hockey BC believes that everyone has the right to enjoy the sport at whatever level or position they participate. Athletes, coaches, officials and volunteers have the right to a safe and inclusive training environment that is free of abuse, harassment or discrimination.

Field Hockey BC believes the welfare of everyone involved in the sport is a foremost consideration and, in particular, the protection of children/athletes is the responsibility of each individual member and special interest groups in the field hockey community.

The Canadian Sports Helpline

The helpline will provide you with advice, guidance and resources on how to proceed/intervene appropriately in the circumstances.

To Register a Complaint with FHBC

To register a formal complaint or report a formal concern to FHBC, please send a formal letter by mail or e-mail marked for the attention of the FHBC Acting Vice-President (Board of Directors) to info@fieldhockeybc.com or via mail to Field Hockey BC, Suite 101-7455 132nd Street, Surrey, BC V3W 1J8. Alternatively and for advice and guidance prior to potential submission of a formal letter of complaint or concern, please reach out to the FHBC Executive Director via phone or e-mail at 604-614-7660 or mark@fieldhockeybc.com.