Väestöliitto, the Family Federation of Finland

Et ole yksin (You are not alone) is a joint project of Väestöliitto and Finnish sports in which everyone’s rights to enjoy sports safely and to be treated equally and with respect are promoted. Cooperation with other expert organisations of society provides the sports community with special expertise and information. Educational activities and various types of educational material for the needs of sports federations and clubs have been organised and created in the project. 

Education and communication raises awareness of inappropriate behaviour in sports among parties involved with different roles and helps understand and identify these phenomena in sports. An additional goal is to provide tools for preventing and addressing inappropriate behaviour. Education can also change attitudes as harassment and inappropriate behaviour do not belong in sports.

The Et ole yksin (You are not alone) project

Et ole yksin is a joint project of Väestöliitto and the Finnish sports community. The goal of the project is to prevent and decrease the experiences of bullying, sexual harassment and all types of violence in sports. Väestöliitto provides the sports community with Finland’s first targeted support service for people who are subjected to inappropriate behaviour. The project also aims to improve the autonomy of children and young people and to raise awareness of preventing inappropriate behaviour among different parties. Training sessions for preventing and addressing inappropriate behaviour for sports federation representatives have been arranged in the project. Ready-made material for sports clubs has also been prepared in the project. This material can be found on the project’s website. 

Väestöliitto is the provider of these services and it is responsible for the Et ole yksin website. The project includes seven sports federations that are responsible for communicating about and marketing the project. Clubs of these federations have also been provided with pilot club training services. The sports federation involved are the Finnish Ice Hockey Association, the Football Association of Finland, the Finnish Floorball Federation, the Finnish Swimming Association, the Finnish Basketball Association, the Finnish Gymnastics Federation and the Finnish Volleyball Association. The partners of the project include FINCIS and the Finnish Olympic Committee.

Cooperation in education

In cooperation with Väestöliitto and the Finnish Olympic Committee, FINCIS has prepared educational material of the theme of sexual and gender-based harassment in sports as part of the Et ole yksin project. The educational material is primarily designed for sports federations and clubs. The material includes a glossary, measures on how to prevent and address inappropriate behaviour and instructions on where to find additional information about the subject. FINCIS and Väestöliitto have also prepared a Checklist for Safe Clubs that sports clubs can use to ensure that at least the measures listed have been taken to prevent harassment. 

FINCIS arranged a nationwide Harassment-free Sports educational tour to regional sports organisations in 2020. The purpose of the tour was to provide sports clubs with resources to prevent and address harassment and other forms of inappropriate behaviour. Väestöliitto was also involved in the tour arranged by FINCIS. A Väestöliitto expert was the main educator of the tour.