KEEPING CHILDREN SAFE FROM SEXUAL ABUSE, EXPLOITATION AND TRAFFICKING IN YOUTH SPORTS
Safe to Compete is a national initiative based in the US launched by It’s a Penalty and The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) to prevent abuse, exploitation and trafficking of young children as they learn to compete in youth sports.
- 1 in 10 children in the US will be subjected to sexual abuse or exploitation before reaching the age of 18 (Darkness to Light).
- NCMEC has received reports of the abuse, exploitation and trafficking of children in every U.S. State, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico.
- In 2020, more than 17,000 of cases reported to NCMEC were for possible child trafficking for sexual exploitation.
Youth sports present a great platform through which to raise awareness and protect children. High profile cases of young athletes being abused whilst competing have drawn attention to the issue of child protection in sports all over the world. Our focus with Safe to Compete is to address gaps in knowledge, skills and action amongst parents, caregivers and coaches in order to improve every child’s protection from these forms of violence.
Educate parents and coaches of young children in little leagues and group sports.
Equip them with the reporting mechanisms and comprehensive resources to keep children safe.
Encourage them to report anything suspicious, and to become an advocate for change.
Prevent Crimes by raising awareness about the issue and changing behaviors.
Protect Children through excellent education and accreditation for coaches.
Leave a legacy and contribute to the positive impact of youth sports by protecting the most vulnerable.