For survivors of GBV living in fear, sport plays an integral role. Sport allows survivors to non-verbally express and resolve their problems in a less-confrontational way. Young girls especially may not have the emotional strength to talk about their experiences which makes sport the ideal stepping stone to a greater openness. Right to Play reveal that, “Through sport, the coach/teacher slowly speaks with the child and the child will gradually reveal what is inside.” This will create a positive team environment where trusting relationships will continue to develop.
Sport teaches teamwork skills such as "loyalty to one’s teammates, deference to a coach’s decisions, and the fact that teams are chosen based on relative skills, not on the basis of popularity or personality". Membership on a sports team has positive benefits in terms of building relationships between team members and teaching teamwork skills, which can later be useful to girls and women in a professional environment. Survivors of GBV in conflict/post-conflict areas that learn to foster these skills are better prepared to interact and compete with their male colleagues. This is especially important as learning to not fear their male counterparts is integral to the overall healing process.
Huggins, A & Randell, S, The Contribution of Sports to Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, Paper presented at International Conference on Gender equity on Sports for Global Change, Rwanda, 2007