WASHINGTON, D.C.– House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) released the following statement after the House passed the final version of the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017 (S. 534). Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) introduced the House version of this legislation in response to reports of abuse in amateur athletics, including the U.S. gymnastics program.
“For our nation’s young athletes, their gymnasiums and training facilities should be sanctuaries– where they feel safe to live their passions and pursue their dreams. For years, Larry Nassar turned these gyms into places of horror and pain. It’s unconscionable, and it’s a call for action to make sure that the amateur athletic governing bodies are doing everything they can to protect their athletes so they become Olympians– not victims of sexual abuse.
“My heart is with the 156 women who bravely shared their stories. No one should have to endure that pain. That’s why we are sending the final version of Rep. Susan Brooks’ bill to the President’s desk to require our amateur athletic governing bodies to promptly report suspected cases of abuse to law enforcement, and also implement reforms, like mandatory training, to prevent them from occurring at all. It’s the least that we can do to help our nation’s young athletes once again feel safe and protected from these heinous crimes of abuse and exploitation.”
Note: Last week, when it was announced the House would vote on the final version of the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017 and send it to the President’s desk to become law, Chair McMorris Rodgers said, “As I listen to these brave young women in the U.S. gymnastics program come forward and share their stories, I can’t help but think about my own daughters. Like all moms, I send my children to places like school and gymnastics expecting they are safe and can just be kids. That is how it should be. So the many instances of sexual assault committed against our young vulnerable athletes are deeply disturbing and beyond horrible. These young women deserve justice, and the assurances that these heinous crimes of abuse and exploitation will never happen again.”