Pursuant to the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017 (the “SafeSport Act”), which amended the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990, all mandatory reporters are required to report suspected child abuse, including sexual abuse, within 24 hours to the local law enforcement agency or local child protective services agency that has jurisdiction to investigate reports of child abuse or to protect child abuse victims, or to the FBI. This requirement applies to, among others, all Covered Personnel as described in US Club Soccer Policy 13.01.
Specifically, the definition of mandatory reporter now includes any “adult who is authorized, by a national governing body, a member of a national governing body, or an amateur sports organization that participates in interstate or international amateur athletic competition, to interact with a minor or amateur athlete at an amateur sports organization facility or at any event sanctioned by a national governing body, a member of a national governing body, or such an amateur sports organization.”
The reporting obligation is triggered when a mandatory reporter becomes aware of “facts that give reason to suspect” a child has suffered an incident of child abuse. Child abuse includes physical or mental injury, sexual abuse or exploitation, or negligent treatment of a child.
Sexual abuse is defined to include the employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement, or coercion of a child to engage in, or assist another person to engage in, sexually explicit conduct or the rape, molestation, prostitution, or other form of sexual exploitation of children or incest with children.
Mental injury means harm to a child’s psychological or intellectual functioning which may be exhibited by severe anxiety, depression, withdrawal or outward aggressive behavior, or a combination of those behaviors, which may be demonstrated by a change in behavior, emotional response or cognition.
If you make a report to law enforcement consistent with this section, please also complete US Club Soccer's Athlete and Participant Safety/Risk Management Reporting Form (below). This will assist US Club Soccer in taking action as appropriate.
These obligations are in addition to any state or local law requirements that an individual may have in a particular jurisdiction. The Child Welfare Information Gateway State Statutes Search may be helpful.
Pursuant to US Club Soccer Policy 13.04(b), beyond the obligations described above and in US Club Soccer Policy 13.04(a), Covered Personnel also have an affirmative duty to report suspected abuse or other misconduct to US Club Soccer.
This includes self-reporting or reporting regarding another individual or club/organization. Incidents which must be reported include, but are not limited to, arrests for a felony or other crime of violence, sexual misconduct, or any other act or pattern of behavior which may have or in the future may put youth players at risk. Members are encouraged to err on the side of reporting, and allow US Club Soccer to ascertain whether a disqualification from participation is warranted.
A report made via this form does not satisfy one's obligation to report to law enforcement or other appropriate authorities consistent with the section above, US Club Soccer Policy 13.04(a), and section 226 of the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990 (34 U.S.C. § 20341)/federal law.
Reports may be made anonymously, and there is no direct fee or cost involved in making a report. Due to the nature of certain claims, US Club Soccer may be limited with respect to the actions it may be able to take in response to a report if the individual submitting the report does not wish to make his or her identity known.
US Club Soccer does not tolerate retaliation of any kind. No individual who makes a good-faith report of misconduct will be subject to retaliation or any adverse employment consequence as a result of making a report.
Please report competition and other related issues separately, pursuant to US Club Soccer Policy 14.04.