Sexual Abuse in Sports – Speaking Up with Dignity

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 29: Olympic medalist Simone Biles stands on stage during an East Room event at the White House September 29, 2016 in Washington, DC. President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama welcome the 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams to the White House to honor their participation and success in the Rio Olympic Games this year. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Persons in positions of trust, as we know too well, are likely to abuse their power if there aren’t enough checks and balances. This week, allegations against Larry Nassar came to its peak with Olympian, Simone Biles speaking up. She too was a victim of Larry Nassar, her doctor. As parents we are faced with a dilemma – who can I trust with my daughter whilst she pursues her dream sport, dance or skill to the highest level or should I shield her completely from the risks of potential abuse by avoiding such sports or activities?

We may not be able to answer this question but we have pooled together our top 5 tips to bear in mind when children take part in a sport or extra curricular activity.

1.  Find out what the policy is for one on one contact.  

2.  Have a discussion with your child appropriate and inappropriate touching.  

3.  Encourage them to tell you about any/everything. Secrecy and child abuse go hand in hand.

4.  Teach your child the correct terms for their body parts.  

5.  Let children decide for themselves how they want to express affection.

BONUS  Teach children that No means No. 

Photo credit Sky Sports