New Federal law is in effect for the protection of children from abuse.
The official name of the law is: “Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017”. The law went into effect on February 14, 2018.
A number of rules and guidelines that will be described below must be followed by all “covered individuals” beginning September 1 2019.
Covered individuals are all adults who are authorized to interact with minor or amateur athletes by a national governing body. That includes Board Members, trainers, coaches, managers, referees, volunteers, tournament organizers etc.
The law requires a series of steps to be taken by any adult involved with the children in our league when they suspect “child abuse”. In addition, there are a number of conduct guidelines to be followed by these individuals when they are in contact with covered minors.
Child abuse is defined as physical or mental injury, sexual abuse or exploitation, or negligent treatment of a child. A covered individual who suspects but does not report child abuse is subject to criminal penalties.
What does that mean practically speaking? If you suspect something -say something. You are not asked to investigate the matter or to begin questioning the child or other adults. If you have a suspicion of child abuse you are required to report it within 12 hours to appropriate authorities who will be summarized in the CJSA Safety Policy. Anyone reporting can remain anonymous.
Under this safety tab is the CJSA (Connecticut Junior Soccer Association) Athlete and Participant Safety Policy. You should red it carfully.
Important sections include:
- Prohibited Conduct Policy
- Appropriate Background Screening
- Education & Training
- Limiting One-on-One Interactions
Appendix A outlines the Prohibited Conduct Policy which includes:
Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Racial, Religious or National Origin Harassment, Child Sexual Abuse, Sexual Misconduct, Emotional Misconduct, Physical Misconduct, Bullying and Hazing
Appendix B outlines required policies in the areas of:
One-on-One Interactions, Massages and Rubdowns, Locker Rooms, Rest Rooms and Changing Areas, Social Media & Electronic communications, Local Travel and Team Travel