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Abuse Policy

On February 14, 2018, the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017 was signed into law and became effective immediately. The legislation is available for download HERE. The U.S. Center for SafeSport has released a fact sheet about the legislation which can be found HERE.

In addition to the U.S. Center for SafeSport’s factsheet, which provides information regarding the entire law, we wanted to provide additional detail on the specific mandatory reporting of child abuse requirements included in the new legislation because these requirements may impact you immediately:

  • The bill amends the Victims of Child Abuse Act of 1990 to extend the duty to report suspected child abuse, including sexual abuse, within 24 hours to all adults who are authorized to interact with minor or amateur athletes 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. These individuals are called “covered individuals” in the new legislation.
  • Child abuse is defined as physical or mental injury, sexual abuse or exploitation, or negligent treatment of a child.
  • Per current federal regulations, reports of child abuse should be made 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. These regulations have not yet been updated to reflect the recent change in the law. Until such time as the regulations are updated, Tri-Cities United will make reports to (1) local law enforcement where any alleged incident took place to the extent it can be determined and the incident occurred in the United States, (2) local law enforcement where the victim resides if different than (1), and (3) the FBI.
  • An individual who is required, but fails, to report suspected child sexual abuse is subject to criminal penalties including fines and up to one (1) year in jail.
  • These obligations are in addition to any State law requirements that an individual may have in a particular jurisdiction.

If you make a report of child abuse to law enforcement, please also communicate this report to any or all board members for Tri-Cities United. As a reminder, as a member or affiliate of U.S. Soccer, you may be subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. Center for SafeSport under certain circumstances. The Center serves an important investigatory and remedial function where law enforcement may choose or be unable to act.  

As a club, Tri-Cities United commits to the following:
  1. Reporting – The club will make its Board of Directors, coaches, and parents aware that should they be made aware of any abuse (sexual, mental, bullying, etc.), they have twenty-four (24) hours in which to report the information. Any sexual abuse should immediately go to the Department of Child Services (DCS). 
  2. Policies/Code of Conduct – The club has amended its Code of Conduct as acknowledged during registration to exceed the requirements of the 2018 law. 
  3. Training/Prevention – Members, staff, coaches, and the Board of Directors should be aware of signs of abuse.  In addition to our Director of Coaching and Club Administrator, all coaches and team managers, will complete a certified Abuse Awareness Training through SafeSport.
  4. No Retaliation – Our club will not retaliate against anyone that is reporting an abuse issue.  We have a Zero Tolerance for Abuse policy and a No Retaliation policy. 
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