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4 out of 10 college athletes experienced abuse, restrictions: watchdog survey

National 15:21 April 08, 2021

SEOUL, April 8 (Yonhap) -- Nearly four out of 10 university athletes were found to have experienced abuses or unwanted restrictions within their teams, a survey showed Thursday.

According to the National Human Rights Commission of Korea (NHRCK) survey conducted last year on 258 student athletes from nine colleges with large competitive teams, 38 percent said they experienced restrictions in leaving their living quarters against their will either by seniors or their teams.

Also, 37.2 percent said they have been subject to restrictions on their appearances, including that of hair and clothing, while 32.2 percent said they were forced to run errands and do daily chores for seniors.

The rate of those who experienced verbal abuse stood at 29.1 percent, while the corresponding figures for those who suffered physical discipline was 25.6 percent.

Twenty-one percent of the respondents said such abuses happened almost daily, while 24.8 percent said they occurred once or twice per month.

When asked who should be held accountable for the abuses, senior athletes and team instructors were seen as having the most responsibility, with 65.6 percent and 50.3 percent, respectively. The abuses occurred mostly at team residences or playing fields, the survey showed.

The watchdog said that the reported physical or sexual abuse cases among student athletes dropped in 2020 compared with a year ago, but the level of rights restriction in terms of intensity appears to have gone up.

"Excessive control over the lives of student athletes violates their rights to self determination and pursuit of happiness," the NHRCK said, and recommended that school authorities come up with measures to address such problems.

This graphic image produced by Yonhap News TV depicts different types of abuse and violence. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


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