Topic 1 How to identify and interpret signs and patterns of GBV

Identifying and interpreting signs and patterns of gender-based violence (GBV) in any context, including basketball, requires sensitivity, awareness, and understanding of the various forms of GBV.

The first steps to help identify and interpret signs and patterns of GBV in basketball are:

  • Educate Yourself: Learn about the different forms of GBV, including physical, sexual, and psychological abuse. Understand the dynamics of power and control that underlie GBV.
  • Know the Signs: Familiarize yourself with the signs and key indicators of GBV.

Key Indicators of Harm or Abuse

FIBA Safeguarding Policy (2022) provides some useful key indicators that do not prove that an individual is a victim of harm or abuse but may suggest that this person eventually suffered any form of violence or may need help or protection.

The key indicators of Harm are:

  • The potential victim talks about harassment or violence or a friend or family member shares some worrying information;
  • Suspicious injuries or physical harm visible on the individual;
  • Concerning behavior of the possible victim or strange behavior of the potential perpetrator that raises an alert that something is not normal;

The key indicators of Physical Abuse:

  • Injuries that do not adhere to the explanation given for them – injuries on a place of the body that cannot occur following a rough basketball game or bruises, burns, bites, or fractures that appear not following an accident.
  • Injuries that do not get medical care or excessive use of medications;
  • Signs of restraint, lack of desire to participate in practices and games, lack of engagement with teammates, or reluctance to change in the locker room in front of the teammates.

FIBA Safeguarding Policy (2022) and  Women Win: Recognizing GBV explain in detail the Key indicators of Sexual Abuse:

  • Any claim made of sexual abuse;
  • Visible bruises, scratches or marks;
  • Sexually provocative or seductive behavior, use of inappropriate sexual language, or any inappropriate sexual behavior of young player;
  • Not typical symptoms such as feeling insecure, scared, or acting infantile;
  • Knowledge of details of adult sexual behavior inconsistent with the age of the player;
  • Reluctance of a person to be touched;
  • Lack of trust in adults or being too familiar with adults, fear of a particular person;
  • Lack of engagement with teammates or withdrawal of relationships, social isolation;
  • Pregnancy in a person unable to give consent to sexual intercourse;
  • Constant pain or itching in the genital area, difficulties walking or sitting;
  • Constant urinary problems, stomach pains, suspicious medical complaints;
  • Torn, stained, or underwear with blood;
  • Serious problems with sleep with nightmares and phobias, bed-wetting;
  • Change of general appearance, eating disorders (bulimia, anorexia), self-destructive behaviors like cutting;
  • Difficulties to concentrate or focus on a specific task, depression, or suicidal tendencies

FIBA Safeguarding Policy (2022) suggests the following key indicators of Emotional Abuse:

  • Depression, aggression, frequent change of mood, strong anxiety or increased anxiety close to certain person/s;
  • Phobias or compulsive behavior;
  • Unforeseen underachievement, lack of concentration, extreme shyness, or passivity;
  • Seeking the attention of adults and not mingling well with peers;
  • Low self-confidence or negative statements about self;
  • Sleep or speech disorders;
  • Stealing, lying, acts of cruelty.

Identifying and interpreting signs and patterns of gender-based violence (GBV) requires a nuanced understanding of context and individual experiences. It’s essential to approach each situation with empathy, sensitivity, and a commitment to promoting safety and well-being for all participants in basketball.