June 25, 2018

A new law could help prevent child sexual abuse on youth sports teams this summer. After hundreds of cases of abuse within the USA women's gymnastics team were revealed last year, Congress passed the Safe Sport Act in January. Under the law, youth sports organizations are required to give sexual abuse prevention training, and report abuse allegations to local law enforcement. With summer sports warming up, organizations are looking at how to stay in line with these new policies. "So many good things happen in sporting organizations, and young people and adolescents blossom into these really great adults, partly because of the experience and the coaching that they get, and all those kind of things,” says David Duro, president and CEO of Treasure Valley Family YMCA. “But not everybody can be trusted with our children." Duro adds that volunteers at his YMCA already go through sexual abuse prevention training. 

Duro says this type of crime is prevalent, perhaps even more so than the public knows. According to Darkness to Light, an organization that provides training and resources for preventing sexual abuse, one in four girls, and one in six boys, will be abused by the time she or he is 18. "The incidence of child sexual abuse is just so high, and this one act isn't going to flip the dial,” he states. “I mean, it's going to be constant and rigorous diligence to reverse this trend and to, at some point, eradicate child sexual abuse."  The new law also includes mandatory compensation of at least $150,000 for victims of sexual abuse, and requires that sports organizations put reasonable procedures in place to limit one-on-one interactions between minors and adults. It also sets up an independent, nonprofit body – the U.S. Center for SafeSport – to ensure compliance and investigate abuse complaints.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - ID
Published in Children's Justice Act
June 25, 2018

A new law could help prevent child sexual abuse on youth sports teams this summer. After hundreds of cases of abuse within the USA women's gymnastics team were revealed last year, Congress passed the Safe Sport Act in January. Under the law, youth sports organizations are required to give sexual abuse prevention training, and report abuse allegations to local law enforcement. With summer sports warming up, organizations are looking at how to stay in line with these new policies. "So many good things happen in sporting organizations, and young people and adolescents blossom into these really great adults, partly because of the experience and the coaching that they get, and all those kind of things,” says David Duro, president and CEO of Treasure Valley Family YMCA. “But not everybody can be trusted with our children." Duro adds that volunteers at his YMCA already go through sexual abuse prevention training. 

Duro says this type of crime is prevalent, perhaps even more so than the public knows. According to Darkness to Light, an organization that provides training and resources for preventing sexual abuse, one in four girls, and one in six boys, will be abused by the time she or he is 18. "The incidence of child sexual abuse is just so high, and this one act isn't going to flip the dial,” he states. “I mean, it's going to be constant and rigorous diligence to reverse this trend and to, at some point, eradicate child sexual abuse."  The new law also includes mandatory compensation of at least $150,000 for victims of sexual abuse, and requires that sports organizations put reasonable procedures in place to limit one-on-one interactions between minors and adults. It also sets up an independent, nonprofit body – the U.S. Center for SafeSport – to ensure compliance and investigate abuse complaints.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - ID
Published in Children's Justice Act

Violence against girls is a painfully American tale. It is a crisis of national proportions that cuts across every divide of race, class, and ethnicity. The facts are staggering: one in four American girls will experience some form of sexual violence by the age of 18. Fifteen percent of sexual assault and rape victims are under the age of 12;1 nearly half of all female rape survivors were victimized before the age of 18.2 And girls between the ages of 16 and 19 are four times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault.

And in a perverse twist of justice, many girls who experience sexual abuse are routed into the juvenile justice system because of their victimization. Indeed, sexual abuse is one of the primary predictors of girls’ entry into the juvenile justice system.4 A particularly glaring example is when girls who are victims of sex trafficking are arrested on prostitution charges — punished as perpetrators rather than served and supported as victims and survivors.

Once inside, girls encounter a system that is often ill-equipped to identify and treat the violence and trauma that lie at the root of victimized girls’ arrests. More harmful still is the significant risk that the punitive environ- ment will re-trigger girls’ trauma and even subject them to new incidents of sexual victimization, which can exponentially compound the profound harms inflicted by the original abuse.

This is the girls’ sexual abuse to prison pipeline.

This report exposes the ways in which we criminalize girls — especially girls of color — who have been sexually and physically abused, and it offers policy recommendations to dismantle the abuse to prison pipeline. It illustrates the pipeline with examples, including the detention of girls who are victims of sex trafficking, girls who run away or become truant because of abuse they experience, and girls who cross into juvenile justice from the child welfare system. By illuminating both the problem and potential solutions, we hope to make the first step toward ending the cycle of victimization-to-imprisonment for marginalized girls.

READ THE FULL REPORT/DOWNLOAD PDF.

Report prepared by:

Human Rights Project for Girls
Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality
Ms. Foundation for Women
 
November 2015

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