This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This webpage reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Period: January 2019 – December 2021
Project grant: €398,083

Child Abuse in Sport European Statistics (CASES)


Introduction to the CASES Project

Recent years have seen unprecedented attention on the abuse of children and athletes in sport. Strategic responses are critical and must be informed by robust evidence on the scale and nature of these abuses.

The CASES project aimed to provide strong data on the prevalence of interpersonal violence, abuse and maltreatment experienced by children (people under the age of 18) inside or outside sport, across different European national contexts. To this end we undertook a survey of over 10,000 individuals across Europe in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Romania, Spain, and the UK.

We also sought to build on our previous qualitative work in the VOICE Project. VOICE focused on working with those with lived experience of sexual abuse in sport and we hope that CASES offers some contribution to the ongoing and sustained efforts of those with lived experience of abuse and violence to bring about change in their respective national and local contexts.

In addition, whilst still rare, meaningful partnership between research and the sport sector seem increasingly possible in this field. This is illustrated well here through the participation of Sport England, the German Sport Youth, and World Athletics.

We also want to recognise that some countries have already undertaken substantial and significant action in this regard. We very much welcome such action and we particularly want to recognise the persistent endeavours of individuals within the sport sector who work tirelessly and selflessly to provide meaningful, safe, and healthy opportunities for children and for the improvement of children’s lives. We very much hope that you will see this study as a positive contribution to your work – perhaps more vital now than ever – rather than something that detracts from it.

The CASES report and further resources will be published and freely available from 26th November.

The CASES Partnership

The CASES Project is built on a collaborative partnership of universities, research institutes and sport organisations. The project was led by Professor Mike Hartill at Edge Hill University in UK, who was supported by a steering group of Professor Bettina Rulofs (co-lead, University of Wuppertal in Germany), Dr Melanie Lang (Edge Hill University, UK) and Dr Tine Vertommen (University of Antwerp, Belgium). Further university partners and lead academics are: Dr Rosa Diketmüller (University of Vienna, Austria), Dr Ecaterina Stativa (National Institute for Mother and Child Health “Alessandrescu-Rusescu”, Romania), Dr Montserrat Martín (University of Vic – University of Central Catalonia).

The survey on interpersonal violence in sport was applied in six European countries. Academics from seven universities and research institutes in those countries supported the project in each phase. Partners from three sport organisations – one international (World Athletics) and two national (Sport England and German Sports Youth) – consulted the project in order to increase transfer into the field of practical sport.

For further information on the project, see the EU’s Erasmus+ page.

If you have any questions regarding the project, please contact Mike Hartill[email protected].

Project team

Team memberCountryExternal role
Mike HartillUKProfessor
Bettina RulofsGermanyDeputy Head of Department
Tine VertommenBelgiumResearcher
Melanie LangUKReader (Assistant Professor)
Ecaterina StativaRomaniaSenior Researcher
Ioana NanuRomaniaResearcher
Montserrat MartinSpainSenior Lecturer
Eva CireraSpainLecturer
Rosa DiketmullerAustriaAssistant Professor
Marc AllroggenGermanyHead of Forensic Unit
Daniel SageUKSenior Lecturer
Jarl KampenBelgiumAssistant Professor
Jayne MolyneuxUKDirector: Children & Young People
Elena LambyGermanyProject Manager: Child Protection
Paolo AdamiItalyManager: Health & Science Dept