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senate Bill S. 534

Should All U.S. Olympic Committee-Recognized Amateur Athletic Organizations be Mandatory Reporters of Sexual Abuse?

Argument in favor

USOC-recognized amateur athletic organizations and all people affiliated with them should be required to immediately report allegations of suspected sexual or physical abuse to law enforcement and have procedures in place to prevent such abuse.

Mackenzie's Opinion
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01/29/2018
Young athletes are extremely vulnerable to adults and systems surrounding their sports. We need to protect them from exploitation.
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Kim's Opinion
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01/29/2018
Yes! Absolutely! I am a mandatory reporter both as a minister and as faculty of a university. This is low bar, common sense. These athletes deserve justice, and this is a great step to take to ensure that!
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gmcustodio's Opinion
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01/29/2018
Given the Nassar case, it’s very important that all youth sports organizations, up to and including the ones under the auspices of the US Olympic Committee, be especially vigilant and responsive about sexual abuse allegations. A clear reporting requirement is a good step. Vote yes.
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Argument opposed

There’s no need for USOC-recognized amateur athletic organizations and the people associated with them to be mandatory reporters, or have other policies in place to prevent the sexual or physical abuse of young athletes.

ManfromNebraska's Opinion
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01/29/2018
It seems that the rules are in place, but the people enforcing the rules didn’t do their job. Fire them and they should be brought up on charges for accessories.
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RadicalModerate's Opinion
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01/29/2018
Obfuscation. It’s already required. This is legislation so we can all be angry together then feel like something was done. But so far even with me too, nothing real is changing. Head in hands. Worried about college and my daughter.
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Tim's Opinion
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01/29/2018
No new laws that cover already existing crimes. Supervision and management simply need to do their jobs-act on the reports of alleged abuse.
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bill Progress


  • EnactedFebruary 14th, 2018
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The house Passed January 29th, 2018
    Roll Call Vote 406 Yea / 3 Nay
  • The senate Passed November 14th, 2017
    Passed by Voice Vote
      senate Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedMarch 6th, 2017

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What is Senate Bill S. 534?

This bill would require amateur athletic governing bodies recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee (like USA Gymnastics) to report allegations of abuse to law enforcement agencies and develop training, oversight, and internal policies and procedures related to the physical or sexual abuse of any minor or amateur athlete by any adult. All members of the national governing body and adults authorized by the organization to interact with minor or amateur athletes would be required to immediately report all allegations of sexual abuse that they reasonably suspect occurred to police.

The national Olympic governing body would also establish a mechanism that allows for complaints to easily be filed with the governing body. It would also be responsible for having procedures in place to prevent all amateur, minor athletes from being in a one-on-one situation with an adult who isn’t their guardian without being in an observable and interruptible distance from another adult. The organization would be required to include regular audits by unaffiliated entities of its procedures within its oversight plan. The U.S. Olympic Committee and associated entities would have limited liability.

A U.S. Center for Safe Sport would serve as the independent national safe sport organization and oversee national sports organizations to safeguard amateur athletes against emotional, physical, and sexual abuse in sports. It would have an office tasked with response and resolution to establish mechanisms that allow for the reporting, investigation, and resolution of alleged sexual abuse.

Impact

Children and adults associated with amateur athletic governing bodies; the Center for Safe Sport; and law enforcement.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 534

The CBO estimates that enacting this bill would have an negligible impact on the federal budget.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced this bill to require amateur athletics governing bodies to report sex-abuse allegations immediately to local or federal law enforcement, or a child-welfare agency designated by the Dept. of Justice:

“Sexual abuse is one of the most heinous crimes and our legislation will finally ensure that adults who are responsible for the safety of millions of young athletes will be held accountable for preventing abuse and reporting of any allegation of abuse. Passage of our legislation wouldn’t have been possible without the courage of women who came forward to say ‘enough is enough.’ They shared deeply personal, horrific experiences to help prevent other young girls from having to ensure the same abuse and pain. Since I met with several brave women in February, I told them that I would work to pass this bill. Today is their day.”

Original cosponsor Sen. John Thune (R-SD) added:

“Combing the best of two proposals, this legislation makes institutional changes within the U.S> Olympic movement and sets stringent new criminal reporting requirements to protect young athletes from sexual abuse. The  horrendous crimes of adults entrusted with the care of young athletes prompted this legislation.”

This legislation passed the Senate on a voice vote where it had the support of 28 cosponsors, including 18 Democrats and 10 Republicans. A similar bill that didn’t include language related to the Center for Safe Sport passed the House in May 2017 on a 415-3 vote.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: U.S. Air Force / Public Domain)

AKA

Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017

Official Title

A bill to prevent the sexual abuse of minors and amateur athletes by requiring the prompt reporting of sexual abuse to law enforcement authorities, and for other purposes.