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Safe4Athletes

 

Confronting Sexual Abuse and Harassment by Sport Coaches: A Need for a National Effort

Tennis Lesson

The world of sports has been riddled with sexual abuse and harassment of young athletes by their powerful and publicly respected coaches (respected for producing performance results) for many decades, across all sports, regardless of sex. While there is no consistently collected data on the prevalence of these transgressions, there is reason to believe that news reports and limited data from national sport governing bodies represent the proverbial “tip of the iceberg”. 

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MAKE SPORT SAFE FOR ATHLETES

Our Mission: Advocate for athlete welfare where every athlete is provided a safe and positive environment free of abuse, bullying and harassment.
All Contributions are Tax Exempt 501 (c) 3
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Change Happens One Person at a Time.

You don’t have to be an outspoken activist or be in a position of power.It is important to act in ways that are comfortable for your personality, to follow your passion for social justice, and to do things that fit your personal limitations of time or resources.

Here are some ideas that might fit YOU!

1.     RECOMMEND A LOCAL SPORT CLUB TO ADOPT A SAFE4ATHLETES POLICY
Print out the Safe4Athletes brochure and Why Sport Clubs Need an Athlete Welfare Policy. Schedule a meeting with the President of the local club to discuss whether this person would like to learn more about this issue. Direct them to the Safe4Athletes.org web site to get more information. Check back several weeks later to see if the club plans to take action to adopt such a policy. (SEE OTHERS CLUBS THAT RECOMMEND SAFE4ATHLETES)

2.    TALK TO ATHLETES AT A SPORT CLUB
Volunteer to talk to athletes at a sports club to make sure they understand how important it is to report misconduct by coaches or other athletes. First find out from the club who they should contact to report such concerns. Use the What Every Athlete Should Know Safe4Athletes publication as a summary of the points you should cover.

3.    EMAIL, TEXT MESSAGE OR DISCUSS THE ISSUE WITH YOUR ATHLETE OR PARENT FRIENDS
The first step in confronting any issue to talking about it. Use social media to ask your friends whether they think this is an issue and whether they would like to join you in approaching your sports club to do something about it. Encourage them to check out the Safe4Athletes.org web site to learn more about the issue.

4.    WRITE TO YOUR NATIONAL SPORT GOVERNING BODY (NGB)
Check the Safe4Athletes web site to see if the national sport governing body (USA Archery, USA Softball, etc.) in your sport has an Athlete Protection Officer or staff member responsible for handling parent or athlete concerns about coach misconduct. If not, write to your NGB to ask that they establish such a staff position, adopt a strong policy on coaches professional conduct and publish the names of coaches banned for misconduct.

5.    SHARE YOUR STORY
If you are comfortable sharing your story of being the victim of abuse, write your story and try to suggest to athletes or parents who might read it how they might act if faced with a similar situation. Or explain how you were successful in getting your sports club to address this issue. Don’t use your name. Carefully follow instructions on the Safe4Athletes.org Tell Your Story area of the web site.

6.    VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME TO WORK FOR SAFE4ATHLETES
Sometimes Safe4Athletes has projects (i.e., surveys, research projects, writing articles, etc.) that volunteers can help accomplish. Email info@Safe4Athletes to volunteer.

7.    VOLUNTEER TO BE AN ‘ATHLETE WELFARE ADVOCATE’ AT YOUR SPORT CLUB
An “Athlete Welfare Advocate” is a volunteer responsible for listening to any athlete complaint or expression of concern and determining how to best address this concern in the best interest of the athlete. The role of the AWA is to act on behalf of the athlete to ensure the athlete’s safety, recognizing the imbalance of power between participants and adults (coaches and others) who are in positions of authority or that there may be other participants whose actions may be intimidating or threatening to younger or weaker children.

8.    IF YOU HAVE NO TIME TO BE AN ACTIVIST, DONATE TO THE CAUSE
Safe4Athletes, is a registered public charity, exempt from Federal income taxation under Sections 501(c)(3) and 509(a)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code. Your donation can help make a difference by funding:
•    efforts to provide speakers for national sport organization convention programs addressing this issue
•    initiatives to communicate directly with local sports clubs and state associations to get them to adopt athlete protection policies
•    staff to answer the Safe4Athletes “Help Line”
•    the operation of our web site so we can guarantee free access to all of our model policies and other educational materials

   
Click here to  

Safe4Athletes, Inc is a tax-exempt organization pursuant to the Internal Revenue code 501 (c) 3. 

 

Latest blog

  • Have 2 Minutes? Take the Safe4Athletes Survey to help Make Sports Safe4Athletes
    Written by Katherine Starr

    A few minutes of your time could be the difference between an athlete being silent about their abuse or having a voice to speak up. 

    We are asking you to help make sports Safe4Athletes by taking a few minutes of your time to participate in our survey. By COMPLETING our survey we can learn a little bit more about each sport at every level.  

    There is very little current data to truly understand the type of abuse that has transpired in sports for decades.  We know that it's there and know that each sport has different unique characteristics of the type of abuse (Sexual, verbal, physical and emotional). Help us change that by completing the survery. We want to hear from anyone that has competed for a single season to having committed to over 10,000 in pursuit of excellence in your sport. The more knowledge we can gain the bigger the impact. Help us change what is broken and preserve what makes sports great.  

    The survey can be completed by either the athlete or an athlete parent of a minor competitor. The minor competitor can complete the survey as well as Athlete Self. All responses are anonymous. 

    Please share this survey with your networks as the more the "past and present" athletes at all levels of sport participate the louder our collective voices become.

    Click here to take the SURVEY we will look forward to sharing our findings in the coming months. (Stay Tuned)

     

    Thank you for helping us Make Sports SAFE4ATHLETES



    Written on Saturday, 22 February 2014 09:11
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Every athlete deserves a safe and positive sports environment. SPEAK UP if the way you are being treated feels wrong. 
If you need advice in sorting through a situation or concern. SAFE4ATHLETES is here to help.

Safe4Athletes: PO Box 650, Santa Monica, CA 90406 - Tax ID-46-2290559