WHITE PAPERS & OTHER REPORTS
CHILD USA’s Social Science team conducts evidence based research and data analysis to provide information to better protect children in the United States.
A Plea for Congressional Intervention Into the Athlete Protection Systems of the United States Tennis Association
In an era when sporting organizations are on clear notice that children and young adults are at risk of sex abuse and assault in sport, and that they need to institute effective programs to prevent athlete sex abuse and assault, no National Governing Body (NGB) should be permitted to ignore their duty to protect athletes from sexual abuse.
United States Tennis Association (“USTA”), the NGB for the sport of tennis, remains stuck in the past, which makes it dangerous to athletes, as it prioritizes profits over athletes. Since 2002, 52 abusive tennis coaches or officials have gained access to and sexually abused tennis athletes.
The longer this issue remains unaddressed, the more likely other young athletes will be irreparably harmed by preventable sexual abuse. We respectfully request Congress immediately investigate USTA and force the necessary changes, including the removal of USTA personnel, to protect athletes across the country.
Report on Needed Systemic Reform in the Olympic System to Deal with and Prevent Athlete Abuse in Support of Testimony Regarding the U.S. Center for SafeSport and the Inadequate Protection of Youth Athletes from Child Sex Abuse in the Olympic System with Five Specific Recommendations
The existing Olympic system addressing the abuse of athletes requires adjustments to be more effective in reaching its goals. Athletes suffer from sex abuse, emotional abuse, and physical abuse. This Report outlines proposed systemic reform, which addresses all three forms of abuse and creates a more transparent and accountable system that will aid in greater protection of athletes through a fair process and in a trauma-informed way. Overall, we recommend a more athlete-centered system that speeds investigation times, decisions, and accountability, inserts a fair process for the athletes, and is transparent to the public.
What is delayed disclosure?
Disclosure refers to when a victim of child sexual abuse (CSA) tells someone about the abuse they endured, whether a peer, to a parent, another adult, or the authorities. Not all victims disclose, but for the CSA victims who do disclose, the vast majority need decades to come forward.
CHILD USA analyzed data on disclosure to explain why this “complex, lifelong process” can take decades or may never occur.
Family members, lawmakers, and investigators need to understand the facts about disclosure so they can support victims who come forward and help them seek justice. The public also needs this information to protect kids and prevent child sex abuse.
By the time most victims are able to come forward, the arbitrary deadlines for pressing charges or suing perpetrators and responsible institutions—known as statutes of limitation (SOL)—have expired. These short SOLs silence victims, assist perpetrators, and aid in institutional cover-ups.
The Impact of Restrictive Abortion Policies on Children: How Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Decision Negatively Affects Youth
Restrictions on abortions across the United States are creating negative health, educational, and economic consequences for children. These restrictions are causing irrevocable harm to pregnant children and will harm society as a whole.
A Realistic Estimate of the Impact of SOL Reform in Pennsylvania
The Susquehanna Valley Center for Public Policy estimates between 10,000 to 100,000 claims would be filed against public schools under a SOL revival window in PA.
In reality, claims would likely total less than 1,000, or one tenth of their lower estimate. An appropriate estimate range would be between 300 to 900 claims.
Roman Catholic Dioceses in Bankruptcy: An Exploratory Study of Victims’ Experiences
Since 2002, victims of child sexual abuse (CSA) have been afforded significantly more opportunities to bring claims against abusers and responsible institutions in civil litigation. This has often been facilitated by permitting victims whose claims had expired to revive these claims. Victims of abuse in the Roman Catholic Church context have initiated many claims in recent years, and Catholic dioceses have assiduously explored avenues to mitigate the costs of providing compensation to victims and to avoid further disclosures.
Child Sexual Abuse of Elite Athletes: Prevalence, Perceptions, and Mental Health
Despite a series of high-profile media reports of sexual abuse in sport over the past few years, little research has been done to explore the scope of the problem in the United States. The current article reports on prevalence of child sexual assault in elite athletes in the United States. Using a retrospective web survey, adults answered questions on their experiences in sport. Of the 473 elite athletes surveyed, 3.8% (n = 18) reported being sexual assaulted as a minor in the sporting context. Of those reporting assault, most (61%) reported being abused by an adult authority figure (usually a coach) and 44% reported being assaulted by a peer. Abused athletes were significantly more likely to report having been diagnosed with a mental disorder (Fisher’s exact test; p < .001). The findings can be utilized to improve prevention and child protection measures and other safeguarding initiatives in sport.
Analysis of the Written Policies of the 32 U.S. Archdioceses on the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse
The Catholic Church in the U.S. has been under concerted public pressure to improve its child protection policies. However, development of these policies has largely been left to the discretion of local dioceses with little central oversight. To determine the scope of current abuse prevention policies, we analyzed all 32 U.S. archdioceses’ policies and practices for developing a safe environment and preventing child sexual abuse. Using a tool developed from a list of unique components selected from the policies of all 32 archdioceses, we compared policies and procedures across archdioceses. On a group level, we found policies to be inadequate. The average score for archdioceses in the general area of prevention was 40.7 (SD = 9.3) out of 102 possible points (40% of possible points) with few prevention policies conforming to basic best practices that would be expected of a youth-serving organization. The variation and inconsistencies across archdioceses reveal the need for the Catholic Church to establish more uniform standards for preventing sexual abuse. These standards should be grounded in evidence-based practices and expert guidance. We also discuss some key areas which warrant immediate attention in future policy-making.
Survey of the Written Child Protection Policies of the 32 U.S. Archdioceses
Amid considerable public scrutiny, Roman Catholic institutions in the United States have been called upon to address underlying organizational conditions that may facilitate child sex abuse and establish effective policies for early intervention and prevention. The development of child protection policies has largely been left to the discretion of local dioceses with little in the way of central oversight. This study examined the 32 U.S. archdioceses’ written policies on child protection and maintaining a safe environment. We found 14 distinct policies spread across the archdioceses which fit into four general categories or domains: (1) Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse; (2) Detection and Reporting of Abuse; (3) Response to Victims; and (4) Investigational Process and Response to Allegations of Abuse. Using a tool developed from a list of unique components selected from the better policies of all 32 archdioceses, we compared policies across archdioceses. On a group level, we found current policies to be inadequate. The average score for all 32 archdioceses was 100.9 out of 250 possible points or 40%. The range was 61 to 137 (SD 20.4). The variation and inconsistencies across multiple archdioceses within the U.S. reveal the need for the Catholic Church to establish evidence-based standards on appropriately and effectively addressing child sexual abuse within its dioceses. These standards should be based on empirically supported best practices and emerging consensus of experts on better practices for youth-serving organizations in relation to child abuse. This article points to parameters for consideration in developing such standards.
CHILD USA’s Gold Standard Policies for Youth Serving Organizations
CHILD USA’s Gold Standard Policy is an evidence-based and expert-vetted set of policies that can be used by any Youth Serving Organization to protect the children they serve from abuse. It includes tools for prevention, training recommendations, reporting procedures, and much more to assist and advise organizations working with children.
**This comprehensive summary document contains the most critical components of CHILD USA’s more detailed and extensive version of the Gold Standard Policy. For the full policy framework, contact CHILD USA at [email protected].
Five Key Findings of the Elite Athlete Survey
By: Marci A. Hamilton, Esq., CEO
Carter E. Timon, MBDS, Lead Social Science Researcher
**This data is in preparation for submission to a scientific journal and has not yet undergone formal peer review.**
WATCH School Survey Results
By: Carter E. Timon, MBDS, Lead Social Scientist
Elizabeth Allen, MS
Analysis of Victims of Abuse in Scouting, Part I
By: Marci A. Hamilton, Esq., CEO
Carter E. Timon, MBDS, Lead Social Scientist
Survey and Analysis of the Written Child Protection Policies of the 32 U.S. Roman Catholic Archdioceses
By: Marci A. Hamilton, Esq, CEO
Stephanie Dallam, Ph.D., lead investigator
Sabine Glocker, Esq.
COMPARISON OF THE WRITTEN CHILD PROTECTION POLICIES OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF SAINT PAUL & MINNEAPOLIS TO THOSE OF OTHER U.S. ARCHDIOCESES WITH RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT