A SAFE

HAVEN

Protecting our most vulnerable.

"Far too many girls and boys in Germany experience sexual abuse before their 18th birthday. We want to actively help prevent this." Vanessa Heim is the BVB Football Academy's expert for children's welfare and sexual abuse in sports. Together with her colleagues from the CR department, they recently revised BVB's company-wide policy.
 
"We assume responsibility for thousands of children and young people in Dortmund and those in the care of our regional and international cooperation partners. Our programme stretches from the Football Academy's network to the Youth Academy to BVB's KidsClub and Learning Centre." A total of 120 employees – coaches, support staff, physiotherapists as well as communications experts – were trained on the new policy. The training course for a further 80 staff from the Football Academy was postponed due to the coronavirus. They will complete the course at a later date.
 
Promoting a culture of vigilance is a key component of our efforts. The four-step training programme is designed to raise awareness among BVB's staff and coaches, the children and adolescents themselves and their parents. Crisis teams have been formed and perpetrator strategies demonstrated.
 
In addition, the changing rooms and sanitary facilities at the Football Academy will undergo extensive renovations to improve the situation. These measures are designed to not only prevent physical assault by improving the layout of the facilities but to also protect people's right to privacy, especially in the digital age.
 
"We all love working with children," says Vanessa Heim. "When you're essentially the Westphalian shoelace tying champion, you'll do everything in your power to protect your kids."