Former Softball Australia employee says allegations of assault were ignored by the sport

A former employee of Softball Australia says the organisation ignored her allegation that she had been sexually assaulted and harassed by a senior administrator in the sport.

Sophie Moore has spent years trying to have her complaint heard after she alleged the administrator gave her an unwanted embrace and groped her in 2017.

But she said the incident itself has paled compared to the frustration she experienced over what she calls the “systemic failure” of Softball Australia to follow the organisation’s own Members Protection Policy (MPP) and act on her complaint.

“Multiple people in authority whose job it is to action and uphold policy in the organisation made active choices to not action that policy,” she said.

“And if they didn’t make that choice actively, then they don’t know their own policy, which is more concerning and alarming within sport.”

Ms Moore said her health had been affected by the experience.

“My physical and mental health’s shot — I have anxiety, insomnia,” she said.

Moore, who now works as the member protection information officer (MPIO) for Football Australia, said her case is an example of how smaller sports are ill-equipped to deal with complaints despite having policies to protect players and employees.

Moore was employed by Softball Australia in 2015 as the National Sporting Schools Manager.

She said she was harassed and groped by the senior administrator in January 2017 after being introduced to him by then-chief executive of Softball ACT Jon Wells during a junior carnival.

She said the alleged incident triggered a PTSD episode because it reminded her of a sexual assault she said she suffered in 2005.

Softball Australia admits proper process was not followed.(AAP: Joe Giddens)

Immediately after the incident she said she complained verbally to Wells and followed up a few days later.

“He said ‘OK, I’ll deal with it and thank you’,” Moore said.

“So, I just thought ‘this is a work problem. I’ve reported to my manager, I’ve done what I need to do’.”

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