The Army of Survivors Joins the Sport & Rights Alliance to Elevate the Voices of Survivors of Abuse

(Nyon, Switzerland, 28 June 2021) The Sport & Rights Alliance (SRA) is thrilled to announce its newest partner, The Army of Survivors, an unprecedented group of former athletes and survivors working to end the systemic culture of sexual abuse across the world of sport. As a survivor-founded organization, The Army of Survivors will play a critical role in the SRA’s work to ensure the voices of survivors are recognized, heard and respected throughout global sports.

“We at the alliance are passionate about centering the voices of athletes, survivors, children and all whom we represent at the heart of our work,” said Andrea Florence, acting director of the Sport & Rights Alliance. “We are collectively committed to ending child abuse and harassment in sport. Being able to partner with The Army of Survivors is truly an honor, and will help us advocate for effective trauma-informed remedy mechanisms for those harmed in sport, whilst ensuring that the survivor’s voice is directly represented.”

The Army of Survivors was formed in 2018 by survivors of the sexual assault enabled by Michigan State University, USA Gymnastics, and the US Olympic Committee. Realizing that in the United States alone, anywhere from seven to 15 percent of young athletes experience sexual violence through their participation in sport, they created The Army of Survivors to provide advocacy, education and resources for the millions of survivors whose voices are critical to making sport safe for children and all athletes.

Julie Ann Rivers-Cochran, Executive Director of The Army of Survivors, said: “Joining the Sport & Rights Alliance will allow our organization to expand its influence into the larger arena of sport and human rights. We are inspired by the coalition’s previous work exposing the systematic culture of child abuse in Japan, Haiti, Afghanistan and more recently in Mali basketball, and excited to work together to continue championing the perspectives of survivors and ensuring their rights are respected and protected.”

About The Sport & Rights Alliance

The Sport & Rights Alliance’s mission is to promote the rights and wellbeing of those most affected by human rights risks associated with the delivery of sport. Its partners include Amnesty International, The Army of Survivors, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Football Supporters Europe, Human Rights Watch, ILGA World (The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association), the International Trade Union Confederation, Transparency International Germany, and World Players Association, UNI Global Union. As a global coalition of leading NGOs and trade unions, the SRA works together to ensure sports bodies, governments and other relevant stakeholders give rise to a world of sport that protects, respects, and fulfills international standards for human rights, labor rights, child wellbeing and safeguarding, and anti-corruption. The SRA Acting Director, Andrea Florence is based in São Paulo, Brazil, and can be reached at +55 11 98420 0025 or andrea@sportandrightsalliance.org.

About The Army of Survivors

The Army of Survivors is a designated 501(C)3 non-profit organization whose mission is to bring awareness, accountability and transparency to sexual violence against athletes. Created by a group of more than 40 athlete survivors of sexual violence, The Army of Survivors is the only national organization advocating for and supporting child athlete survivors of sexual violence through resources, advocacy and education. For more information, visit theArmyofSurvivors.org and follow The Army of Survivors on TwitterInstagramFacebook and LinkedIn. Executive Director Julie Ann Rivers-Cochran, MSW, is based in Traverse City, Michigan and can be reached at +1-850-294-1227 or jrivers-cochran@thearmyofsurvivors.org.

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Sport has the potential to be a catalyst for human development, unity, and freedom, but too often it instead brings harm to its athletes, fans, and communities. We exist to uncover and rectify the many abuses that exist both in and around sport. We aim to transform sports into an authentic force for good.