SAFE SPORT ACT
In 2017 the “Protecting Young Victims From Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017” was passed by Congress and signed into law in February 2018 by President Trump. The law expands mandating youth reporting laws and also requires abuse awareness for youth sports organizations. The Safe Sport Act was passed with the intent to educate and protect today’s youth from sexual, emotion, and physical abuse. The new law requires the following:
Mandatory reporting – Individuals that see any suspicious type of child abuse (sexual or physical) must report it to appropriate law enforcement within 24 hours.
Prevention training – Non-National Governing Bodies (Non-NGBs) must offer and provide training to adults who are in contact with youth participants. Training needs to include methods on how to recognize “grooming”. “Grooming” is where a predator develops over time a relationship with a victim and over time gaining their trust.
Warnings signs of Abuse
- One on one contact
- Low self-esteem
- Dropping out of group activities
- Coaches providing special attention to individual participants.
- Youth being afraid of adult coaches/staff
- Limit one on one contact with adult/youth
- Make sure that there always two adults to one youth
- Picking up/Taking home is discouraged due to the ability of limiting one on contact.
- Have backgrounds checks performed on all volunteers and paid staff.
- No sleepovers
- An individual should be removed from coaching if a background check executed on them shows that they have been involved in child abuse.
- An individual should be removed from coaching if they are accused of an incident until the incident can be settled.
Safe Sport “is an independent nonprofit committed to ending all forms of abuse in sport. This includes bullying, harassment, hazing, physical abuse, emotional abuse, and sexual misconduct and abuse. The Center is the first and only national organization of its kind. The Center provides services to sport entities on abuse prevention techniques, policies and programs and provides a safe, professional and confidential place for individuals to report sexual abuse within the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movements. Visit our Response and Resolution, and Education and Outreach pages to learn more about our work.”
It is strongly recommended that all volunteers, parents, and adults go to Safe Sport and view their material.
Athlete Safety is under the Safe Sport organization where parents can receive FREE online training.
Protect Youth Sports is a background check company where individuals can execute background checks on volunteers, paid staff, officials, any adult that might be involved with individuals, teams, leagues, and associations. They provide educational/training material that can be viewed as well.