The scope of the WHISTLE project (Erasmus+ Sport) is to prevent and fight Verbal Sexual Harassment (VSH) and catcalling in sport, as this behaviour has a negative influence over women’s practice of sport being one of the causes of dropout from organized sports and one of the barriers that limits women to practice outdoor physical activity.
Catcalling is not a new phenomenon, the novelty lies in the fact that in recent years there has been talk of it, women’s movements have been born. Catcalling is not only something that just happens to female runners or cyclists on the streets; it affects also organized sport, even if there are not copious evidence about it; BUT the lack of data does not mean the lack of the problem. The lack of data is much more due to the fear of reporting, the absence of a support system specifically designed for women who practice sport, the shortage of information within sports clubs, the lack of awareness of catcalling as a subtle and devious form of gender-based violence.
In this scenario, WHISTLE increases knowledge to better understand the phenomenon, particularly in the organized sports; it educates sport clubs practitioners, women associations and local authorities providing them with tools to detect the problem and to take the right measures to support VSH victims. Specific activities directly address 150+ women, who are engaged both to share stories, take part at pilot empowering programs. A creative awareness campaign on the effect of catcalling on women participation in sport is strategically developed to impact to the larger group of males, coaches, sport professionals, managers, and fans.
The main outcome can be resumed in the WHISTLE ADVISE SYSTEMs (WAS) established at 30+ sport clubs: here women can find proper support, to react and counter any VSH that could occur. WAS continue over the end of the project in collaboration with stakeholders and will contribute to ensure a more equal participation in sport and physical activity, in the long run.