The Canadian government has launched Canada Sport Helpline, a national, toll-free, confidential helpline to support victims or witnesses of abuse, bullying, harrassment, or discrimination in any area of sport, professional or amateur, whether by a coach, volunteer, parent, or another participant. The number is 1-888-83SPORT, or 1-888-837-7678, and the line is staffed from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET seven days a week.

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The helpline is designed to provide callers with a neutral third party whose job is to listen, support, and offer further resources where appropriate.

Alternatively, callers can go online at www.abuse-free-sport.ca to chat with a live operator during those hours, and to find links to other resources, or send an email to info@abuse-free-sport.ca.

An initiative of the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada (which is funded by Canadian Heritage, the department that now oversees sports in Canada), the helpline is one of several initiatives the federal government has taken in recent weeks to combat abuse in sports and to further the goal of gender equity in Canadian sport by 2035.

Those initiatives also include making funding dependent upon organizations adopting specific measures to make sports participation safe and inclusive, the development of a code of conduct for all levels of sports, and the creation of a Gender Equity Secretariat whose mission is to develop and enforce a gender equity strategy.

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