Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe for Athletes

The Childhelp Speak Up Be Safe for Athletes prevention education initiative exists to promote the safe physical, emotional, educational and spiritual development of youth athletes. The program is designed to teach children and also to aid coaches, educators and parents in providing secure environments where children can reach their ultimate potential.

“Rumors may be kept initially among themselves at pool or trackside, but hints or comments that are overheard should raise suspicion. It is easy to dismiss these as idle gossip, and indeed at times this may seem the easier option, but we have a duty to listen and report any concern.”

-D. MacAuley “Child Abuse in Sports” The British Journal of Sports Medicine
  • 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.
  • 90% of child sexual abuse victims know the perpetrator in some way.
  • Indicators of possible abuse in sports include (but are not limited to): missing practices, illness, loss of interest, withdrawal and a child performing significantly below his/her abilities.
  • Child abuse occurs at every socio-economic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education. When people think “not in our school’s athletic program; not in this religious league; not amongst my people; and not on a team in this neighborhood” they contribute to a culture of denial where predators are protected.


Cense, M., & Brackenridge, C.H. (2001). Temporal and developmental risk factors for sexual harassment and abuse in sport. European Physical Education Review, 7(1), 61-79.

Fasting, K., Brackenridge, C.H. and Sundgot-Borgen, J. (2003). Experiences of sexual harassment and abuse amongst Norwegian elite female athletes and non-athletes. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 74(1): 74-97.

MacAuley, D. (1996). Child Abuse in Sport. The British Journal of Sports Medicine, 30:275-276.

MacGregor, M. (1998). Harassment and abuse in sport and recreation. CAHPERD Journal.

Parent, S. (2010). Disclosure of Sexual Abuse in Sport Organization: A Case Study. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse. London: Routledge.


For more information and to schedule a Speak Up Be Safe for Athletes presentation contact:

Daphne Young, Chief Communications Officer
Childhelp National Headquarters
Phone: 480-922-8212
6730 North Scottsdale Road, Suite 150 | Scottsdale, AZ 85253