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New Child Abuse Reporting Procedures for NGBs Signed Into Law, Effective Immediately

03/05/2018, 8:15am CST
By USA Fencing

On February 14, 2018, S. 534 was signed into law and became effective immediately. The bill amends two federal statutes: (1) the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990 and (2) the Amateur Sports Act of 1978.

This new law includes a requirement that “covered individuals” report “as soon as possible” (defined as “within a 24-hour period”) any facts learned “that give reason to suspect that a child has suffered an incident of child abuse, including sexual abuse.” The report should be made both to the Center for SafeSport AND to law enforcement.

The term “covered individuals” under the new law includes certain adults who are authorized to interact with minor or amateur athletes at a facility under the jurisdiction of an NGB. More broadly, it includes any “adult member of a national governing body,” as well as the organization itself.

An individual who is required to report suspected child sexual abuse by the Victim of Child Abuse Act, but fails to do so, may be subject to criminal penalties. 

Importantly, under the U.S. Center for SafeSport’s Code and USA Fencing’s SafeSport Policy, members of and participants in USA Fencing sanctioned competitions and sponsored programs are required to report any suspected sexual misconduct to the U.S. Center for SafeSport, regardless of when and where the misconduct occurred.

Click here to view additional information from the Center for SafeSport regarding the new legislation. For additional information regarding reporting procedures, the Center for SafeSport can be reached at 720.531.0340 or via the Center’s online reporting form.

Full text from the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017, including the amendments to the Amateur Sports Act of 1978, can be found by clicking here.

For questions regarding USA Fencing SafeSport policies, contact Susie Riewald, USA Fencing Safe Sport Coordinator, at S.Riewald@usafencing.org or 719.866.2616.

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