Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and SafeSport Authorization Act of 2017

On February 14th, 2018, the President signed the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and SafeSport Authorization Act of 2017 which is aimed at protecting youth amateur athletes from sexual abuse. A youth amateur athlete is any child or minor under the age of 18 enaged in amateur athletics. The full legislation is available for download (click here) and additional information may be found on the U.S. Center for Safe Sport fact sheet: https://www.safesport.org/files/details/78

This Law has a four pronged approach for protecting youth amateur athletes:

  1. Any adult interacting with amateur athletes in the program has a duty to report abuse and or suspected abuse within a 24 hour period.
  2. Extends the statute of limitations for up to 10 years after a victim realizes he or she was abused.
  3. Limits an athlete under the age of 18 from being alone with an adult who is not their parent or guardian.
  4. Prohibits retaliation against someone making a report of suspected abuse.

How Does this Law Translate into Actions for National Governing Bodies (NGB's, i.e. US Soccer) and NGB-Affiliates (i.e. USYS, NJYS, Morris United Soccer Club)?

In order to meet the requirements of this legislation and to protect our youth athletes, the Morris United Soccer Club has enacted the following policies.

Morris United Soccer Club's officers, trainers, coaches and other volunteers MUST report a reasonable suspicion of Sexual or Physical abuse/neglect, within a 24 hour period of awareness

Morris United Soccer Club will limit athletes from being alone with coaches, trainers, volunteers or other staff by:

requiring parents to be copied on all e-mails between individual athletes and any MUSC adult

prohibiting adults within MUSC to reach out socially to individual athletes by phone, text or social media

requiring any "one-on-one" training or other contact between a youth athlete and coach or staff to be in a highly visible location [ideally with other adults nearby]

prohibiting athletes from traveling alone with a non-parental adult

only allowing an athlete to travel with a non-parental adult if given permission by the athlete's parent/guardian

Morris United Soccer Club prohibits retaliation against any individual who reports suspected abuse

Morris United Soccer Club encourages it's coaches, trainers, volunteers and officers to become "SafeSport Trained" and to complete the "US Center for Safesport" training curriculum

Reporting Sexual or Physical Abuse/Neglect

Morris United Soccer Club's officers, trainers, coaches and other volunteers MUST report a reasonable suspicion of Sexual or Physical abuse/neglect, within a 24 hour period of awareness.

Federal regulations state that reports should be made to:

  1. Local Law Enforcement
  2. Local/State Child Protective Services
  3. US Soccer, and
  4. The US Center for SafeSport.

If a Morris United Soccer Club officer, trainer, coach or other volunteer has a reasonable suspicion of sexual or physical abuse, everyone listed below MUST be contacted within a 24 hour period of awareness!

1. Local Law Enforcement

  • Morris Township Police Department: (973) 539-0777
  • Morristown Police Department: (973) 292-6614
  • Morris Plains Police Department: (973) 538-2284

2. State of New Jersey Department of Children and Families (DCF)

3. MUSC Club President

  • Rocco Mastrodomenico: (973) 713-7360

4. NJ Youth Soccer State Office (National Governing Body Affiliate)

5. US Soccer (National Governing Body)

6. US Center for SafeSport

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.

Reporting Other Forms of Misconduct (such as emotional abuse, bullying, hazing, or harassment)

Other forms of misconduct including emotional abuse, bullying, hazing or harassment should be reported to the President of Morris United Soccer Club : Rocco Mastrodomenico : (973) 713-7360

Awareness and Prevention Training

Currently there is no mandated training or training provider for coaches and other volunteers. However, Morris United Soccer Club highly recommends and encourages our trainers, coaches and volunteers to take the program provided by the US Center for SafeSport, and become "SafeSport Trained". The "SafeSport Trained" curriculum is a three subject course which takes approximately 90 minutes to complete. At this time (June 2018) there is no cost to complete this program.

  • To enroll in SafeSport program:

  • You will receive an email to confirm your email address. You must respond to this email to activate your account and complete the course registration.

  • Complete the below three part on-line curriculum to become "SafeSport Trained"

    • Emotional and Physical Misconduct

    • Mandatory Reporting

    • Sexual Misconduct Awareness Education

  • Upon course completion

    • Print out your "SafeSport Trained" certificate and keep for your records.

    • Upload a copy of your abuse prevention certificate to your on-line coaching profile (Sign-in)

3. Limits on an athlete under the age of 18 being alone with an adult

Morris United Soccer Club coaches, trainers, voluneers and officers MUST limit their one on one interaction with a youth athlete and adhere the following policies:

  1. Parents must be copied on all e-mails between individual athletes and any MUSC adult
  2. Adults within MUSC are prohibited from reaching out socially to individual athletes by phone, text or social media
  3. "One-on-one" training or other contact between a youth athlete and coach or staff must be in a highly visible location [ideally with other adults nearby]
  4. Adults within MUSC are prohibited from traveling alone with a youth athlete
  5. Youth athlete's may only travel with a non-parental adult if given permission by the athlete's parent/guardian

4. Prohibit Retaliation

Morris United Soccer Club has a strict policy of prohibiting retaliation against any individual who reports suspected abuse.