Advocates are awaiting action on either Monday or Tuesday for House passage of S 534, the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act. The Senate acted on the compromise bill on November 14, after negotiations with key House members. The legislation, which has had the active support of CWLA, was originally introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to address reports of sexual abuse of Olympic athletes. After passage Senator Feinstein said, “Sexual abuse is one of the most heinous crimes and our legislation will finally ensure that adults who are responsible for the safety of millions of young athletes will be held accountable for preventing abuse and reporting any allegation of abuse.”

The bipartisan legislation would create new responsibilities within these Olympic training facilities through greater accountability of the national governing body that oversees the development, training and participation of Olympic athletes. The bill would mandate it and would require certain child abuse reporting responsibilities for personnel and protections for athletes, and extended legal action for past victims of child abuse. Under the Senate-passed version, funds were authorized for the U.S. Center for Safe Sport to ensure that Olympic athletes can report allegations of abuse to an independent and non-conflicted entity. It also extends the statute of limitations for victims to report instance of sexual abuse.

Senator John Thune (R-SD) had worked to get approximately $2 million in funds but it looks as if that will be struck from a modified version. That means the House will have to act on a modified version and then go back to the Senate. For final approval. To make your voice heard go to the CWLA Action Center to contact your House member.