A ‘Bill Of Rights’ Aims To Keep Child Athletes Safe From Sex Abuse As Olympics Begin

After the Larry Nassar scandal, advocates are calling on sports groups, gyms and more to commit to preventing child sexual abuse by adopting the set of p...

7/23/2021 3:59:00 PM

After the Larry Nassar scandal, advocates are calling on sports groups, gyms and more to commit to preventing child sexual abuse by adopting the set of principles.

After the Larry Nassar scandal, advocates are calling on sports groups, gyms and more to commit to preventing child sexual abuse by adopting the set of p...

. The list goes on and on.Athletes, especially child athletes, need to know they can speak up, Danielle Moore, board secretary of The Army of Survivors, who is also a survivor of Nassar’s abuse, told HuffPost.“Most people from a young age are taught that they have to listen to adults. Especially when a young person is part of a team, it’s the coach’s word 100%,” she said. “This campaign gives them that power to actually speak up. It normalizes the fact that they can use their voice.”

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Implementing policies to better protect children feels like something everyone can get on board with. But Ruck and Moore expect some pushback from club gyms and other facilities around the country, especially in gymnastics, where the sport as a whole is still reeling from the Nassar scandal.

“If this issue is brought up within a club, there’s that perception of people thinking that something has already happened versus trying to prevent it from happening,” Moore said.Ruck and others at Child USA are already working to incentivize organizations to implement the Child Athlete Bill of Rights by tying it to insurance. If a gym or club can get a discount on insurance by adopting these policies, or even requiring a facility to implement these policies in order to receive insurance, that would go a long way, Ruck said. headtopics.com

Both organizations tied the rollout of the Bill of Rights to the start of the Olympics because “the tone is set at the top,” Ruck said. If organizations like the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee adopted these measures, that culture of awareness and transparency would trickle down to even the smallest gyms around the country.

“It’s important to remember that those athletes on TV have had to sacrifice their mental health and their youth to get to where they are,” Moore said. “They shouldn’t have to endure sexual abuse in order to get to where they want to be.”Ruck pointed to arguably the most famous athlete in recent history, Olympian Simone Biles, who has been

outspoken about the abuseshe endured by Nassar and how little USA Gymnastics and USOPC have done to hold his enablers accountable.“It’s like we want Simone Biles to do all of these things, but we’re not willing to protect her or the next Simone Biles,” Ruck said. “It’s fascinating what we expect from our athletes but how little we’re willing to do to ensure their protection.”

Read more: HuffPost Parents »

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A ‘Bill Of Rights’ Aims To Keep Child Athletes Safe From Sex Abuse As Olympics BeginAfter the Larry Nassar scandal, advocates are calling on sports groups, gyms and more to commit to preventing child sexual abuse by adopting the set of principles.