Dr. Melissa Merrick Responds to U.S. Olympic Committee Reform Legislation

Statements & Messages

At Prevent Child Abuse America, we envision a world where no child ever experiences the horrific atrocities recounted by the hundreds of courageous athletes who fell victim to Larry Nassar’s calculated acts of sexual abuse. Yesterday, Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) released findings of their 18-month investigation into the handling of allegations of sexual misconduct within the governance structure of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee and USA Gymnastics, leading to their introduction of the bipartisan Empowering Olympic and Amateur Athletes Act of 2019.

We are still making our way through the report, but want to take this opportunity to commend senators Moran and Blumenthal for their leadership in creating safer environments for children within sporting contexts. All youth serving organizations have a duty and responsibility to put the safety of the children they serve as a top priority. Gone are the days of relying on the courage of children as our sole strategy to addressing the problem of child sexual abuse. Across the country, Prevent Child Abuse America state chapters in places like Idaho, Vermont, Massachusetts, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Kentucky are leading the charge to create innovative strategies and approaches to stopping child sexual abuse before it ever begins. The prevention of child sexual abuse is possible when communities, and the adults in those communities, take bold action to create safe environments for children.

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