Sports & Arts

​We decided to include sports and arts under one heading, because they both often involve celebrities or powerful people who get access to a child through the child’s extracurricular activities. Whether it is the talent agent in Hollywood or the coach in the Olympic system, children have been caught in a web of abuse that is tightly tied into their passions and ambitions. It is a toxic stew that can reinforce the child’s confusion and tragically delay reporting.

Both of these arenas have been resistant to reforms that would prioritize the well-being of children. Getting an abusing coach removed from the sport has bedeviled many, including Sarah Powers Barnhard. She and two other survivors disclosed the abuse by their volleyball coach, Rick Butler, in a 1995 Sports Illustrated story. He was removed, but was permitted to return 5 years later, and he was still coaching as late as 2018 and seen outside a competition in 2020. Of course, the world watched as the victims of USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar stood up bravely in court to read their victim impact statements. Their struggle to get justice and real reforms in sport continues. There is a great deal that still needs to be done, and CHILD USA’s Game Over Commission is focusing on these issues.

Celebrities accused of child sex abuse have been able to harness their extensive social media and public relations assets to attack their victims. The victims have had to withstand horrific trolling on social media just for telling their truth, and there has been little recourse available. These brave survivors like Corey Feldman are having to mount an expensive –both financially and emotionally—public defense just to stand up for the victims in Hollywood and the industry generally. The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have a long way to go before victims have justice and not just a forum to speak. I hope you will see from this list the need for ongoing advocacy and concern about the risks to our children in dangerous settings.

— Prof. Marci Hamilton, Founder/CEO of CHILD USA


Our selected books are typically available in public and/or university libraries.