President Trump fired Cupid’s arrow right through Valentine’s Day with an important reminder to coaches and sports medicine practioners everywhere. Trump signed S. 534, the “Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017,” which requires adults authorized to interact with certain minors and amateur athletes to report evidence of child abuse.
Congress explained the bill like this:
This bill amends the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990 to extend the duty to report suspected child abuse, including sexual abuse, to certain adults who are authorized to interact with minor or amateur athletes at a facility under the jurisdiction of a national governing body. A national governing body is an amateur sports organization that is recognized by the International Olympic Committee.
An individual who is required, but fails, to report suspected child sex abuse is subject to criminal penalties.
Additionally, the bill amends the federal criminal code to revise civil remedy provisions for a victim of a human trafficking offense or federal sex offense. Among other things, it changes the civil statute of limitations to 10 years from the date the victim discovers the violation or injury (currently, 10 years from the date the cause of action arose). The bill also extends the statute of limitations for a minor victim of a federal sex offense to file a civil action to 10 years (currently, 3 years) from the date such individual reaches age 18.
Finally, the bill amends the Amateur Sports Act of 1978: (1) to authorize national governing bodies to develop training, practices, policies, and procedures to prevent the abuse of minor or amateur athletes; and (2) to require national governing bodies to develop and enforce policies, mechanisms, and procedures to prevent, report, and respond to the abuse of minor or amateur athletes.
What to do now
- Review and update your policies
- Train staff
- Promote the message to students