Safe Sports Act
Keeping Young Athletes Free from Abuse: The Youth Sports Act
In February, a new federal law with stricter mandates was enacted to prevent sexual abuse of minors involved in amateur sports and physical activities. The sweeping legislation targets all youth-serving organizations and private businesses, which includes camps, public and private schools, collegiate sports, country clubs, community organizations and sport facilities.
New Federal Law Protects Minors
The highly publicized arrest and recent criminal conviction of Larry Nassar, a decades-long former medical doctor with USA Gymnastics, shocked the entire world, in and outside of sports. Astoundingly, some 265 female gymnasts, among them famous Olympic champions, have accused Nassar of sexually abusing them when they were minors.
Nassar’s case was the turning point. U.S. Government lawmakers finally took stricter measures to protect minors involved in sports and physical activities from sexual abuse.
On January 3, 2018, nearly unanimously, Congress passed “Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017.” (For expediency, people are calling it the “Safe Sport Act.”) President Trump signed the bill into law on February 14, 2018. Click here to read a synopsis of the legislation: https://www.usef.org/forms-pubs/ZeXEaZoEt-k/fact-sheet-protecting-young-victims
The new federal legislation mandates certain protections for young athletes, provides for a new standard of care that affects youth-serving organizations nationwide through its creation of requirements for:
- background checks;
- adoption of mandatory reporting policies and prevention policies that provide reasonable procedures that limit one-on-one interactions between an adult and participating youth without being in an observable and interruptible distance from another adult; and
- implementation of prevention training.
Youth organizations now REQUIRED to train staff members
Organizations must give consistent training to all adult members who are in regular contact with amateur athletes who are minors, and subject to parental consent, to members who are minors, regarding both prevention and reporting child abuse. It is important to note that the required training must include “preventative” measures. Therefore, the training must not only focus on reporting or identifying those that have been abused, but it must train individuals in actual prevention techniques such as understanding “grooming” practices. The Darkness to Light (D2L) sexual abuse prevention training that ICTF offers to groups around Idaho meets the requirements of the Safe Sports Act.
If you are involved with a youth sports team, contact us today to set up a training for your coaching staff.