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Country: Germany

Organisation responsible: German Olympic Sports Confederation (DPSB) in co-operation with martial arts associations and counselling centres

Main topic addressed: preventing gender-based violence

Type of resource/practice: Awareness-raising initiatives / materials

Discipline: Multi-sport

Target group(s): DOSB member organisations

Timing: ongoing

Language: German

Brief description of the practice: The campaign was initiated by the DOSB in 2008 and serves as a platform for prevention of violence against girls and women. Annually, ever since the launch of the campaign, the DOSB in co-operation with several martial arts associations and other campaign partners offers introductory courses and self-defense classes for girls and women. Further, the clubs and organisations involved offer over 200 events every year to participate in and to raise awareness.
The campaign adopts the principle of zero tolerance towards violence of any kind and aims at strengthening self-confidence and self-assurance through sports by developing and offering self-defense and assertiveness training. Through that, the campaign provides tools for improving one’s physical fitness and overall wellbeing. Local counselling and advisory services are incorporated in the campaign and preventive measures aimed at protection from violence are connected and made public.

Content and objectives: Women of all ages, social classes, and of various ethnic affiliations are exposed to violence and harassment. Violence against girls and women with or without a disability or chronic diseases is by no means a phenomenon of a certain social group. Offenders are predominantly men and the domestic environment is the number one place for crimes.
In and through sports, the DOSB has established with its campaign “Strong networks against violence” a format through which girls and women are provided with skills in self-assertiveness, self-defense, and self-confidence. Beyond that the preventive measures for the protection from violence are to be extended and connected more proficiently through widespread co-operations with various martial arts associations and campaign partners. Therefore, the DOSB engages in the zero tolerance principle towards violence both nationally and locally.

Steps/activities of the practice: 

  • - gaining of partners,
  • - network care,
  • - advising the member organisations,
  • - construction of an expert pool and providing expert knowledge,
  • - providing campaign materials.

Resources required: financial resources: 1-2 events per year are mostly or partly public (opening event / prize-giving event), 30-100 people about 2,000 – 4,000 € / 1-2 network meetings with about 12 partners costs about 500 € for each partner.

  • human resources: accompanying the measures by employee (DOSB; in particular), additionally professionals in the campaign partner organisations
  • political support: there is the possibility of submitting an application to the Federal Ministry; besides the DOSB and Federal Ministry of Family Affairs stay in contact to support each other by disseminating information
  • equipment is covered by the campaign partners

Achievements and outcomes: Because it’s a kind of informal network, it´s hard to figure out the number of people reached. There are twelve organisations involved and each one shares the topic in their structures. One action is a competition at local level (sport club and partners yearly since 2014). After ten years we did a short evaluation by ourselves by holding bilateral interviews with the partners (federal level).
The DOSB has a strategy on the topic of equality. The aim is to reach no discrimination based on gender. The campaign is just one step to achieving this aim by preventing gender-based violence.

Challenges and limitations: The campaign is initiated at the federal level, but the activities at regional and local level are also important, so bottom-up and top-down communication is always a challenge.

Follow-up ideas and future plans: We want to consolidate and expand the campaign as part of the strategy.

Further information:

Contact person: Natalie Rittgasser,

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