GymCastic Episode 56 is well worth a listen:
We start our special episode by looking back at some of the physical, emotional and sexual abuse stories from gymnastics’ recent past. We start in the 1980?s. If you are a long time listener, you’ll find out why Jessica always calls the 80?s the Dark Ages.
With three special guests we discover the history which brought gymnastics to this point of change, what has been done to stop abuse, what loopholes still need to be shored up, and what educational and policy programs for prevention are now available. In addition, you’ll find out how to stop and report gymnastics child pornography.
Our guests are, Scott Reid, investigative reporter for the Orange County Register, Katherine Starr, two time Olympian and founder of Safe4Athletes, and Lynn Moskovitz-Thompson, Director of Educational Services at USA Gymnastics. …
Episode 56: Preventing Abuse in Gymnastics
Olympic swimmer Katherine Starr was abused as an athlete. She points out that those in sports where athletes peak at a young age are more vulnerable.
Good links are provided for those looking for resources.
Every coach, every club should have policies and procedures to protect athletes and coaches.
For example, coaches should never be responsible for athletes alone. Not in the Gym. Not in the hotel. Not even in the car.
Coaches should sign a Code of Conduct.
There can be no sexual relationships between athlete and coach at any age. (Unless married, for one exception.)
I endorse the episode.
But when it comes to discussions on coaching ethics, there’s far too much emphasis on sexual misconduct, not nearly enough on far more prevalent psychological abuse.
And, as usual, there was not a mention about the wrongfully accused. Any coach accused in 2013 is assumed guilty, whether he’s guilty or not.
I’ll ask GymCastic to do a future segment on psychological abuse.
Sexual abuse is less prevalent in Gymnastics than in the general population. Psychological abuse is far, far more prevalent in Youth Sport than in the general population.