Nation’s Largest Youth Sport Organization Implements Abuse Prevention Systems Training to Keep Kids Safe from Sexual Abuse
US Youth Soccer trains nearly 350,000 using Awareness Training
FORT WORTH, February 27, 2017 – Three prominent organizations—Abuse Prevention Systems, US Youth Soccer (USYS) and Pullen Insurance Services—have joined together to address the risk of child sexual abuse in youth soccer, a youth sport encompassing millions of children in America, by offering Sexual Abuse Awareness Training to nearly 350,000 coaches, volunteers, referees and parents.
With the assistance of Pullen Insurance Services, located in Fort Worth, Texas, USYS, the nation’s largest youth sport organization, is now providing training and resources for each of its state soccer associations in collaboration with Abuse Prevention Systems, a national leader in the design and implementation of safety systems devised to protect children in child-serving programs.
“US Youth Soccer is always looking for valuable resources to provide soccer families through our member State Associations,” says Chris Moore, CEO of USYS. “We are excited about this opportunity and the positive impact the Abuse Prevention Systems program can have in educating our members and increasing awareness about the risks of sexual abuse.”
For any organization serving children, the risk of child sexual abuse is real—including youth sport. To some degree, youth sport presents an attractive target for the sexual abuser: access to children in a less structured environment, a position of trust commonly involving touch, overnight stays for competition and partial or complete undress in the locker room.
Additionally, abusers in a sport context have many opportunities to “groom the gatekeepers”—parents—expending significant effort to cause them to feel the abuser is helpful, trustworthy and responsible.
After decades of litigating sexual abuse cases, law partners and sexual abuse experts Gregory S. Love and Kimberlee D. Norris founded Abuse Prevention Systems to help organizations meet legal standards of care and reduce the risk of child sexual abuse in youth sport and other children’s programs.
Love and Norris have a long history addressing sexual abuse risk in sport. For nearly 20 years, Love has trained youth sport organizations across the United States, and over the past 15 years, he and Norris, together, have provided consulting and training services to the United States Olympic Committee, USA Volleyball, USA Rowing, Major League Lacrosse and many other significant sport associations.
“The value of youth sport activities for children cannot be overstated, but youth sport can also present an environment of significant risk. It’s rewarding to help the nation’s largest youth sport organization raise its protective barriers,” Love said.
“We are living in an environment where no one can any longer choose to ignore this risk,” Norris said. “I’m very pleased that US Youth Soccer is taking this proactive step.”
Pat and Dan Pullen, founders of Pullen Insurance Services, have provided services to USYS for years and understand the importance of risk prevention.
“This is a first for a national youth sport organization,” said Pat Pullen. “We are excited to be a part of this effort to protect young athletes.”
Already, USYS leaders are vocalizing the value of the Abuse Prevention Systems training.
“I didn’t know what I didn’t know until I heard Gregory Love speak at the Convention,” said Hans Hobson, Executive Director of the Tennessee State Soccer Association, who attended a recent training at the US Soccer Youth Convention in Los Angeles. “I think it’s imperative in today’s changing environment, with so many opportunities for sexual predators to take advantage of our children, to arm your program with effective training. All of our clubs in Tennessee will receive this training. I honestly don’t see how any youth sport organization can’t make time for a program like this.”
To learn more about Abuse Prevention Systems, visit AbusePreventionSystems.com.
FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Julie Shutley, 972-267-1111