U.S. House of Representatives Unanimously Pass O’Halleran Amendment
Washington, DC – Today, the House of Representatives voted unanimously to pass Congressman Tom O’Halleran’s bipartisan amendment to H.R. 1973, the Protecting Young Victims of Sexual Abuse Act of 2017.
The bill, introduced by Congresswoman Susan Brooks, requires prompt reporting of suspected cases of abuse, mandatory training, and implementation of policies and procedures for preventing, reporting, and addressing allegations of sexual abuse at amateur athletic governing bodies. It comes in response to recent scandals and reports of abuse among young athletes within USA Gymnastics, USA Swimming, USA Taekwondo, and others. In 2016, a young gymnast in Mesa, Ariz. came forward after years of sexual abuse, beginning when he was in middle school, by his coach.
Congressman O’Halleran’s amendment, cosponsored by Arizona Representatives Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09) and Andy Biggs (AZ-05), builds on the spirit of H.R. 1973 and requires national governing bodies to clearly list information and resources for victims of abuse on their official website.
“I am very grateful for the broad, bipartisan support this amendment has received,” said Rep. O’Halleran. “The safety and protection of our children is not a political issue; it is a moral obligation we must fulfill. This bill and amendment will offer resources and services to victims of abuse as they seek justice for the crimes committed against them. No child should ever face the threat of abuse. We can do better.”