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Cheering on change: How to stop patterns of abuse in youth sports: Goetz

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Life looks drastically different this summer and fall than it did a year ago. The change in weather, compounded by some relaxed COVID-19 restrictions, has let us breathe a sigh of relief. Things feel a bit more normal.

As 2020 taught us, however, our old idea of “normal” is far from ideal. And it isn’t just the top-of-mind issues, like remote vs. in-person work or lack of adequate child care infrastructure, that warrant reevaluation — it’s everything.

One unfortunate reality the pandemic exposed was the tragedy of child sexual abuse and the conditions that enable it. Looking at the circumstances COVID-19 created, we can more easily understand how situational and environmental factors create opportunities for abuse. Risk factors for CSA spiked as soon as schools suspended in-person instruction; the switch to online learning immediately introduced a whole new set of digital safety concerns. And sadly, quarantine likely exacerbated abusive situations already present in some homes.

These factors are embedded in all facets of life. Post-pandemic, it is up to all of us to identify them and make a change.

It is no secret that children’s sports programs are among the environments prone to CSA. The horrors........

© The Intelligencer

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