North American hockey leagues launch unprecedented initiative to foster safe, healthy environment.
Confidential platform provides new access for players and staff to get help, report abuse and misconduct.
TORONTO, ON (October 11, 2023) – The Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) and hockey leagues across the United States and Canada have come together to form the Respect Hockey Culture Center – a centralized platform which provides access for players, coaches, and employees to confidentially receive mental health support services and to report on incidents of bullying, abuse, harassment, and discrimination.
This unprecedented alliance includes the PWHL, American Hockey League (AHL), Canadian Hockey League (CHL), ECHL, and United States Hockey League (USHL). The CHL is comprised of three Member Leagues: the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), and Western Hockey League (WHL).
“We all play an important role in making hockey safe and inclusive for everyone, and collaborative initiatives like this demonstrate a collective commitment to this mission,” said Jayna Hefford, PWHL Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations. The PWHL is proud to join leagues across North America partnering with the Respect Hockey Culture Center to provide resources and support for athletes and staff to eradicate bullying, abuse, harassment, and discrimination from our game.”
The collaboration seeks to reduce barriers to reporting abuse and misconduct, an essential step in fostering a respectful, psychologically safe, and inclusive environment in hockey. The leagues take allegations of unethical behavior and misconduct seriously and will review all reports made on the platform to determine an appropriate course of action.
The Respect Hockey Culture Center is operated by an independent third-party, REES Community, with mental health supports available through the Canadian Centre for Mental Health in Sport. The initiative was made possible by way of a grant from the National Hockey League (NHL).
The Respect Hockey Culture Center will be rolled out to players and staff within each of the leagues over the course of the 2023-24 hockey season.
About REES Technologies Inc.
REES (Respect, Educate, Empower Survivors) is the leading trauma-informed online reporting and information platform for bullying, abuse, harassment, and discrimination. REES partners across sectors and industries to reduce barriers to reporting and gather data to mitigate risk and inform prevention.