U.S. Center for SafeSport Presents Best Practices for Combating Emotional and Physical Abuse in Sport

U.S. Center for SafeSport Presents Best Practices for Combating Emotional and Physical Abuse in Sport



Center CEO, Ju’Riese Colón, joins Aspen Institute’s Project Play Summit to share Emotional & Physical Abuse Toolkit

Denver, CO, May 18, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

U.S. Center for SafeSport (the Center) CEO Ju’Riese Colón today presented at the Aspen Institute’s Project Play Summit panel titled: Drawing the Line on Emotional and Physical Abuse. Colón highlighted best practices for preventing, recognizing, and responding to emotional and physical abuse in sport from the Center’s recently released Emotional and Physical Abuse Toolkit.

*“Athletes should be able to thrive and fulfill their potential without fear of harassment or intimidation by coaches or teammates,” *Ju’Riese Colón, CEO, U.S. Center for SafeSport, said. *“Our toolkit provides specific actions coaches, parents, and athletes can take to build an inclusive sport environment and make sport safer and more rewarding for everyone.” *

After seeing a sharp spike in allegations of emotional and physical abuse, which have nearly doubled year over year since 2020, the Center released its Emotional and Physical Abuse Toolkit. Its core concepts include:

· Preventing emotional and physical abuse by fostering understanding of the power imbalances inherent in the coach-athlete relationship, trauma-sensitive coaching techniques, strategies for creating a positive sport environment, and the importance of bystander intervention;
· Recognizing the five categories of abuse and misconduct, which include: emotional, physical, bullying, harassing, and hazing; and
· Responding appropriately to disclosures of abuse and ensuring they are properly reported.

The toolkit also provides practical resources including activities, handouts, and  animated videos on digital citizenship.

*“Children who participate in sports can gain valuable physical, social and emotional benefits,”* Tom Farrey, Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program executive director said. *“But it all depends on how the sports experience is delivered to the child. Too often, young athletes are subject to physical and psychological harm. The U.S. Center for SafeSport’s toolkit offers valuable tactics to help the public prevent, recognize, and respond to emotional and physical abuse and misconduct.”*

The Aspen Institute’s Project Play Summit is where the nation’s leaders gather to measure progress, share learning and discover new opportunities to help build healthy communities through sports. Project Play connects the silos across the disjointed landscape of youth and school sports and develops systems-level solutions to grow access to sports for all children, regardless of zip code or ability.

In addition to the Emotional and Physical Abuse Toolkit, the Center offers numerous educational resources to prevent, recognize, and respond to abuse and misconduct in and around sport and other active settings.

The Center’s Parent’s Guide to Misconduct in Sport is designed for parents of athletes of all ages. This free online training course explains the issues of misconduct in sport and helps parents ensure their children have a positive and safe sport experience.

Click here to set up an account and access the training. Use the code: SAFESUMMER23

If you need assistance setting up the account, click here for instructions or click here to contact the help desk.

*Need for Abuse Prevention in Sport  *

The U.S. Center for SafeSport is the nation’s only independent organization dedicated to ending sexual, physical, and emotional abuse in U.S. Olympic and Paralympic sport. The Center emerged in response to high profile cases of sexual abuse of minor athletes within Olympic and Paralympic sport in the mid-2010s. With the mission of making athlete wellbeing the centerpiece of the nation’s sport culture, the Center has since been setting safety policies and receiving, investigating, and resolving complaints of abuse and misconduct. The Center also serves as an educational resource for sports organizations at all levels, from recreational sports organizations to professional leagues.

With the goal of ensuring athletes within the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement of are safe, supported, and strengthened, the Center:

· establishes safety policies, including the SafeSport Code and the Minor Athlete Abuse Prevention Policies (MAAPP);
· investigates and resolves allegations of abuse and misconduct in a neutral manner, and levies sanctions, including temporary and permanent bans from sport; and
· delivers comprehensive abuse prevention education within and outside of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement.

*About the U.S. Center for SafeSport*

The Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017 codified the U.S. Center for SafeSport (the Center), a Denver, Colorado based 501(c)(3) nonprofit, as the nation’s safe sport organization. It furthered the Center’s independence while underscoring its authority to hold individuals accountable. It also charged the Center with developing policies, procedures, and training to prevent abuse and misconduct to protect the 11 million individuals affiliated with the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement.

In October of 2020, the Empowering Olympic, Paralympic, and Amateur Athletes Act of 2020 became law, even further strengthening the Center’s independence and oversight functions while mandating minimum funding requirements for the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee.

The Center opened its doors in March of 2017.

*Reporting Abuse
*Report here to the U.S. Center for SafeSport if you have experienced abuse or misconduct—or if you have reasonable suspicion of abuse or misconduct inflicted on, or by, someone in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement. You can also call 833-587-7233 to make a report.

If a situation does not involve sport or anyone within the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement, you can contact RAINN's 24/7 online hotline or call 800-656-HOPE (4673).


CONTACT: Hilary Nemchik
U.S. Center for SafeSport

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