On February 14, 2018, a new law went into effect, S .534, the “Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and SafeSport Authorization Act of 2017.” The Act designates the U .S . Center for SafeSport (The Center) as the independent national safe sport organization responsible for delivering education and resolving allegations of misconduct within the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movements; additionally, the law requires the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and U.S. Olympic national governing bodies (NGBs) to report child sexual abuse to law enforcement.
If your child participates in a sport organization that is a member of a national governing body recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee, the U.S. Center for SafeSport Code and definitions apply. Sexual misconduct should be reported directly to the Center, and other forms of misconduct should be reported to the NGB.
If your child participates in a sport organization that is unaffiliated with a NGB, request the policies and procedures from your child’s sport organization for reporting abuse. This toolkit for parents is designed to highlight a parent’s role in prevention and help determine when a report should be made.
High-profile cases of child abuse often represent extremes and should not deter parents from encouraging participation in youth sports. Children who have positive experiences in sports from a young age benefit in many ways . While a small percentage of youth go on to compete with elite or professional status, a successful foundation in childhood helps promote self-esteem, a sense of accomplishment, and the ability to function as part of a team, while also promoting a healthy, lifelong interest in athletics. By helping promote strong and healthy relationships between team members and coaches, and spotting signs of potential problems before they become serious, a parent can help ensure the maximum benefits for their child.
Click here to access the SafeSport Parent Toolkit.