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A response plan and reporting policy addresses allegations of misconduct falling within an organization’s athlete protection or other relevant policy. It states the organization’s commitment to providing safe training environments, reporting potential misconduct to the appropriate organizational channels and relevant agencies, as applicable, and resolving allegations in a prompt and fair manner.
The lack of or absence of guidance on when and how to report suspected misconduct is a significant barrier to disclosing misconduct, including child physical and sexual abuse. Without training in this area, sport stakeholders may feel ill-prepared, powerless and lost when it comes to responding to and reporting misconduct. Other stakeholders must also be able to recognize misconduct and to know how to respond.
It is also critical that staff members and/or volunteers understand that they should not attempt to evaluate the credibility or validity of child physical or sexual abuse allegations as a condition for reporting to the sport organization or to appropriate law enforcement authorities.