Sports And Safe Environment

August also means a return to the school sports season. According to, abuse occurs in all sports. Studies indicate 40% to 50% of athletes have experienced anything from mild harassment to severe abuse.
Research suggests that sexual abuse in sports impacts between 2% to 8% of all athletes It is the responsibility of all athletic directors to ensure all coaches, assistant coaches and volunteers have completed the required Safe Environment course and have a current background check that is not older than five years.
Preventing abuse in sport requires both the parent and the school’s athletic staff to be proactive.
What follows are some helpful tips for all before each sports season . . .


For School Athletic Directors and Assistant Athletic Directors
– Prior to each season identify that season’s sports and ALL coaches;
– Liaison with your school’s Safe Environment Coordinator to ensure all;
– Coaches have a current background check not older than five years and certify they have attended the Archdiocese of Louisville’s “Honor Thy Children” Safe Environment Course.
– Identify any “potential coaches” and vacancies that need to be filled and follow up on a periodic basis to ensure those coaches are compliant prior to coaching.

For Parents
– Be aware of your coach’s style, especially if your child is new to the team, moved up a level or the team has a new coach.
– Know the practice schedule. Stick around for a while or arrive early to the end of practice. (Try to minimize phone time, when you’re engaged fully you’re open to receiving cues from your child you might not normally notice.)
– Encourage your child to speak up when they get that feeling in their gut that something just isn’t right.
– Don’t be afraid to ask if your child’s coaches are compliant with the Archdiocese of Louisville’s Safe Environment program. Having an open conversation ensures that everyone is on the same page and are prepared to hold the other accountable.

Should you have questions regarding Safe Environment and athletics please fee free to reach out to:

Martine Siegel
Archdiocese of Louisville Victim Assistance Coordinator
502.636.1044 or via email at


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