Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuseand Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017
Safe Sport Parent Tool Kits
On February 14th, 2018, the President signed the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017 which is aimed at protecting amateur athletes* from sexual abuse. What exactly does the Law state?
The Law has a three-pronged approach:
*What is an amateur athlete? Any child or minor under the age of 18. Legislation is available for download (click here).
What are the requirements for NGB’s and NGB-Affiliated?
Reporting: A mechanism that allows a complaint to be easily reported for a reasonable suspicion of Sexual or Physical abuse/neglect, within a 24 hour period of awareness. Federal regulations state that reports should be made to a) local law enforcement and b) local/state child protective services c) US Soccer, and d) the US Center for SafeSport. EVERYONE is a MANDATORY REPORTER.
Mechanism for Reporting: Everyone listed below MUST be contacted when physical or sexual abuse is suspected
US Soccer Integrity Hotline Number: (312) 528 - 7004
US Soccer: https://www.ussoccer.com/integrity-hotline
US Center for SafeSport: https://www.safesport.org/report-a-concern
Mechanism for Reporting (cont.): Other forms of misconduct such as emotional abuse, bullying, hazing, or harassment.
Reasonable Procedures: Policies and procedures aimed at PREVENTING one-on-one interactions between an amateur athlete who is a minor and an adult.
An individual who is required, but fails, to report suspected child sexual abuse is subject to criminal penalties including fines and up to one (1) year in jail.
Prevention Training: Offer and provide consistent training to adult members who are in contact with amateur athletes who are minors. Currently there is no mandated training provider. Several program options currently exist for awareness/prevention training of sexual abuse. Until there is a mandate or law change, you may use whatever program your organization deems will meet this training requirement. Some programs are currently available at no cost to the adult or organization. Most programs will take between 75 to 90 minutes to complete.
The US Center for SafeSport is one example:
Prohibit Retaliation: Include in your club policy that there can be no retaliation from the club toward those who are reporting.
What is being done next?
Both US Soccer and US Youth Soccer are developing a strategy to help all State Associations understand, communicate and manage their abuse prevention programs.
This communication, which follows up on previous communications from both US Soccer and US Youth Soccer, provides a summary of the new law and the requirements for mandatory reporting. The new law states that The Center for Safe Sports shall develop training, oversight practices, policies and procedures for implementation by a NGB. This work is in progress and will be communicated when available.
What else is important to know about this Law? How might my club be impacted?
There are additional and more specific requirements for several categories of youth sports providers listed as ‘Applicable Entity’ within the Bill. Those listed under this category include:
U.S. Center for SafeSport fact sheet: https://www.safesport.org/files/details/78
Communication from U.S. Soccer to our Members:
This is to flag a new piece of legislation that affects many of our members. We are sending it to our organizational member list because many of you may meet the definition of “covered individuals” in this new legislation, and could, therefore, impact your organization. Please read it carefully, and watch for additional updates, including at the upcoming April Member Meetings, for more information from U.S. Soccer on this important topic. This summary is not intended to supplant the need to review the statute and we urge our members to reach out with questions. In addition, you may also wish to consult your own counsel regarding how this new law will impact your organization.
On February 14, 2018, the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017 was signed into law and became effective immediately. The legislation is available for download HERE. The U.S. Center for SafeSport has released a fact sheet about the legislation which can be found HERE.
In addition to the U.S. Center for SafeSport’s factsheet, which provides information regarding the entire law, we wanted to provide additional detail on the specific mandatory reporting of child abuse requirements included in the new legislation because these requirements may impact you immediately:
If you make a report of child abuse to law enforcement, please also communicate this report to the U.S. Soccer integrity hotline at https://www.ussoccer.com/integrity-hotline or (312) 528-7004 and the U.S. Center for SafeSport at https://safesport.org/response-resolution/report. As a reminder, as a member or affiliate of U.S. Soccer, you may be subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. Center for SafeSport under certain circumstances. The Center serves an important investigatory and remedial function where law enforcement may choose or be unable to act.