The Finnish Student Spors Association OLL reported on Tuesday, that Finnish athletes have been the target of sexual harrassment, sexual assault and attempted rape at the EUSA games held in Portugal. Universities Finland UNIFI and Arene, the Rectors’ Conference of Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences, find this extremely serious and demand that the case will be investegated properly.
– This kind of behavior cannot be accepted. The case must be investigated and the victims must recieve all the support needes, states UNIFI’s executive director Leena Wahlfors.
UNIFI and Arene find it very worrying that according to OLL, the organization behind the games (European University Sports Association EUSA) has not taken the incidents seriously but has instead tried to brush them under the carpet. OLL reports that the perpetrators have not been given any sanctions during the games, the victims have been blamed and physical evidence of the attempted rape has been demanded.
– It is very unfortunate that these kinds of attitudes still exist after all the #metoo discussion that has been going on recently. EUSA must change its practices and find out why they have failed in handling this case so badly. Sexual violence must always be taken seriously, says Arene’s executive director Petri Lempinen.
UNIFI and Arene state, that sexual violence should never be accepted. If any cases occur, they must be handled properly.
– Students should be able to participate in this kind of sports events without having to worry about their own safety. We hope that this unfortunate case will lead EUSA organization to improve their practices thoroughly, states Wahlfors.
Dr. Leena Wahlfors
Executive director, UNIFI
+358 50 522 9421
Dr. Petri Lempinen
Executive director, Arene
+358 40 766 7805