Creating a safe environment in youth sports

In 2022, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children received more than 32 million reports of suspected child sexual exploitation and more than 19,000 reports of possible child sex trafficking (CST).
One in 10 children will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday. Approximately 90% of children who are victims know their abuser.
Source: Darkness to Light, statistics 20150619.pdf
Research suggests sexual abuse in sports impacts between 2-8% of all athletes, including CHILD athletes.
Source: Childhelp
About 1 in 12 elite athletes were sexually assaulted by a sport official or peer athlete.
Source: CHILD USA Preliminary Report: Five Key Findings of the Elite Athlete Survey 07.09.2021
Child Sex Trafficking is a form of child sexual abuse that occurs when a child under 18 is advertised, solicited or exploited through a commercial sex act. A commercial sex act is any sex act where something of value - such as money, drugs, or a place to stay is given or received by any person for sexual activities.
As many as 90% of CST victims have a history of child sexual abuse.Preventing child sexual abuse eliminates an important risk factor for CST.
Source: Darkness to Light,
Safe to Compete is a national initiative between It's a Penalty and The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) to prevent abuse, exploitation and trafficking of young children as they learn to compete in youth sports.

Sports should be safe places for children to grow both as people and athletes. Unfortunately, recent high-profile media cases of young athletes being abused while competing have drawn attention to the issue of child protection in sport all over the world. But child sexual abuse in sport IS preventable!  Safe to Compete seeks to equip coaches and parents with the tools needed to create a safe environment in sport where boundary violations of any sort are not tolerated, and where child safety and respect are top priorities. The new and improved program now includes:
30-minute interactive training course for coaches
15-minute parent education module
Discussion guides on boundary setting and safety for kids ages 5-11 and 12-17
Information on child sex trafficking
Resources for coaches
Hue Jackson
Relief Pitcher
Cincinnati Reds
Evan Kravetz
Relief Pitcher
Cincinnati Reds
Ashley Moody
Florida's Attorney General
Hunter Dozier
Third Baseman
Kansas City Royals
Evan Kravetz is an American professional baseball pitcher in the Cincinnati Reds Organization. Evan was a 5th round selection in the 2019 MLB draft after he played college baseball at Rice University in Houston, Texas. He spent the 2021 MILB season between Daytona Beach, Florida and Dayton, Ohio and has supported philanthropic initiatives like Safe to Compete during his playing time.
Ashley Brooke Moody is an American attorney and politician serving as the Florida attorney general since January 2019.She became Florida’s 38th Attorney General. Since taking office as Attorney General, Moody has been recognized as a leader having served as a Commissioner on the Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice, as Chair of Florida’s Statewide Task Force on Opioid Abuse, and continues to serve as Chair of Florida’s Statewide Council on Human Trafficking.
Hunter Dozier is an American professional baseball third baseman for the Kansas City Royals of Major League Baseball. The Royals selected Dozier eighth overall in the first round of the 2013 MLB draft after he played college baseball at Stephen F. Austin State University. He made his MLB debut in 2016.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation whose mission is to help find missing children, reduce child sexual exploitation, and prevent child victimization. NCMEC works with families, victims, private industry, law enforcement, and the public to assist with preventing child abductions, recovering missing children, and providing services to deter and combat child sexual exploitation.
It’s a Penalty works collaboratively to end human trafficking, exploitation and abuse. We harness the power of sport and run global and local educational and awareness Campaigns during major sporting events highlighting penalties for offenders, the signs to look out for, and how to make a report. Working in partnership with the sports, travel & tourism industry, NGO’s and law enforcers, the campaigns are contextualized in the host cities and countries.

It’s a Penalty has so far run 13 Campaigns including during the Olympic & Paralympic Games, the NFL Super Bowls, Hong Kong Rugby 7’s and the Commonwealth Games, reaching a potential 1.6 billion people.

Alongside the Campaigns It’s a Penalty has three other programmes including CommonProtect, which advocates for legal reform to improve protection from sexual exploitation and abuse for children throughout the Commonwealth countries; Student Ambassador Network, which educates and raises up University students in the U.K to prevent human trafficking and exploitation; and, together with NCMEC, we co-lead Safe to Compete, a programme that trains sports coaches and parents of children in Little Leagues in the USA to prevent abuse.