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Helena Verhelle

Care and Well-being - People and Well-being

Helena Verhelle is a researcher in the research group People and Well-being, research line Safeguarding Sport & Society. She focusses on the prevalence and prevention of harassment and abuse in sports and higher eduction. 


About Helena 

Helena Verhelle holds a MSc in Criminology and a bachelor’s degree in applied psychology. Since 2017 she works as a researcher in the People and Well-being Research Group, research line 'Safeguarding Sport & Society'. Before she started at Thomas More University, she has worked at a Forensic Psychiatric Treatment Centre as a therapeutic counsellor.

She mainly conducts practice-based research on bystander behaviour and the prevention of harassment and abuse against children in the sports context. Helena is involved in several Erasmus+ projects (Safe Sport Allies, Safe Para Sport Allies, CICEE-T). 

Finally, Helena is coordinator of the Postgraduate Programme Forensic Psychodiagnostic and counseling and she  supervises Applied Psychology students in their undergraduate thesis as well as external research trainees.


Verhelle, H., Vertommen, T., & Peters, G.J. (2022). Preventing sexual violence in sport: Determinants of positive coach-bystander behavior. Frontiers in Psychology, 13.

Vertommen, T., Verhelle, H., Martijn, F. M., & De Boeck, M. (2021). Static and Dynamic Recidivism Risk Factors of People Who Have Committed Child Sex Offenses in Sport. Frontiers in Sports and Active Living, 3.

Vertommen, T., Laureys, M., Stockman, D., Verhelle, H., & Aga, N. (2019). “Jij kan de absolute top bereiken, maar alleen als je me vertrouwt”. Plegerkenmerken van seksueel kindermisbruik in de sport vanuit slachtofferperspectief. Pantopicon, 40 (4), 254-272.

Verhelle, H., Vertommen, T., & Robert, L. (2019). Mens sana in corpore sano, ook in de gevangenis? Een onderzoek naar sport en psychische gezondheid in detentie. Fatik, 162, 6-16. 

Verhelle, H., Vanhouche, A., & Huys, T. (2016). Gewichtheffen, voedingssupplementen en anabole steroïden in detentie. Nieuwe fenomenen binnen de gevangenismuren of weggecijferde moeilijkheden? Fatik, 151, 19-28.