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house Bill H.R. 1973

Should All USOC-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.

Catherine's Opinion
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05/25/2017
Anyone who works with children should be a mandated reporter.
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Abbi's Opinion
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05/25/2017
Sorry, but if you work with kids you are a mandatory reporter. There are too many places where kids go that don't have background checks for employees and a vulnerable kid can become prey. I hate making things mandatory but these are kids and there are too many people covering up crimes. You can't always trust people to do the right thing.
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Wendell's Opinion
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05/22/2017
That's a "no brainier". Wouldn't you want that for your own young person? I thought that already was law.
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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.

operaman's Opinion
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05/22/2017
Mandatory? What a legal complexity this would expose. If abuse is not reported, legal civil suits may occur. If abuse is reported, the reporting person/organization better be sure the report is substantiated by police or civil judgment. A lawyers paradise either way.
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Gary's Opinion
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05/23/2017
I get the idea, and these things need to be promptly reported. But the "mandatory" reporting of what one thinks is " reasonable" is a Pandora's box.
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PoliticalAmateur's Opinion
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05/24/2017
Of course when a sexual assault occurs it should be reported. The problem is in requiring the organization to create training, oversight, etc. This is how business can't afford to operate.
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What is House Bill H.R. 1973?

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.

Impact

Children and adults associated with amateur athletic governing bodies; and law enforcement.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1973

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) introduced this bill to ensure the prompt reporting of suspected cases of abuse at amateur athletic organizations recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee and put procedures in place to prevent the abuse of young athletes:

“Sexual abuse impacts survivors for a lifetime. It is the first responsibility of coaches, trainers, doctors and amateur athletic governing bodies to protect our athletes and help them thrive. When sexual abuse allegations go unreported to the authorities and abusers are allowed to continue to work with and prey upon young athletes, it is unconscionable. It demands our action and attention. This legislation will help ensure that we are protecting young athletes.”

This legislation was passed by the House Judiciary Committee on a voice vote, and has the support of 11 bipartisan cosponsors including seven Republicans and four Democrats.


Of Note: The U.S. Olympic Committee issued a public apology in March 2017 for shortcomings in its child protection procedures that have been exposed through a series of sexual and physical abuse scandals. 


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: Public Domain)

AKA

Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse Act of 2017

Official Title

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.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
  • The house Passed May 25th, 2017
    Roll Call Vote 415 Yea / 3 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Education and Labor
      Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security
    IntroducedApril 6th, 2017

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    Anyone who works with children should be a mandated reporter.
    Like (41)
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    Mandatory? What a legal complexity this would expose. If abuse is not reported, legal civil suits may occur. If abuse is reported, the reporting person/organization better be sure the report is substantiated by police or civil judgment. A lawyers paradise either way.
    Like (25)
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    Sorry, but if you work with kids you are a mandatory reporter. There are too many places where kids go that don't have background checks for employees and a vulnerable kid can become prey. I hate making things mandatory but these are kids and there are too many people covering up crimes. You can't always trust people to do the right thing.
    Like (27)
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    That's a "no brainier". Wouldn't you want that for your own young person? I thought that already was law.
    Like (19)
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    I can't believe this isn't already a law. Teachers, day care providers, nurses, and foster parents are mandated reporters. Why aren't coaches?
    Like (14)
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    Anyone working with kids should be a mandatory reporter if they become aware of child abuse.
    Like (9)
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    Mandatory reporters cannot be sued if the allegations are proved false. The allegations are investigated by the local CPS all of which are confidential. Better safe than sorry with minors. It may prevent future Sanduskis.
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    Sexual abuse should be reported by every organization involved with children
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    Anyone who deals with children should be mandatory reporters. The biggest issue I see raised by the opposition is the risk of legal battles that could arise if concerns were unsubstantiated. That is absurd as daycare and Sunday school teaches are already mandatory reporters. As long as the youth sports staff and volunteers are provided the same legal protections as everyone else this concern is invalid. Children need to be protected.
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    OF COURSE THEY NEED TO REPORT SEXUAL ABUSE !! THIS IS A PERFECTLY STUPID QUESTION !!!
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    Sexual Abuse should be reported whether or not it is aimed towards just children or adults. The bill tries to attack the issue from different angles aiming to amend Subchapter IV Reporting Requirement as well as other Chapters in the USCODE that deal with definitions of governing body and repercussions for not reporting sexual abuse. I think it is also important to address peoples who have been wrongfully accused of sexual abuse. The proposed amendment to that is still a bit vague and could lead to some issues down the road. To those who are concerned that the bill would weigh to heavily on adult amateur athletes, it specifically aims that portion of the amendment towards amateur athletes that are minors. Overall I think this bill is heading in the right direction.
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    Sexual abuse of children should be reported no matter who you are.
    Like (6)
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    EVERYBODY should be mandated to report on sexual abuse of a minor.
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    I get the idea, and these things need to be promptly reported. But the "mandatory" reporting of what one thinks is " reasonable" is a Pandora's box.
    Like (5)
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    Why is this even in question? YES! We cannot trust people to do the right thing on their own.
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    Private entities have a mixed record on sex crimes. This will put additional pressure on them to prevent abuse.
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    This needs a vote? Seriously?!
    Like (3)
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    Legislating common sense again.
    Like (3)
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    Civil liability is already there
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    If someone is aware that a coach is abusing a child and does not report it, they are just as guilty as the perpetrator.
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