Student Athletic Program Safety

Creating safe environments for student athletes in both competitive and leisure sports activities is possible when all adults, including parents and those in athletic youth-serving programs, commit to learning warning signs when codes of conduct are breached, how to speak up when there is a concern, and understanding the increased risk of student athletic programs.

Youth involved in competitive sports especially can be vulnerable to sexual abuse in ways that may differ from youth outside this unique environment. Due to factors that include increased pressure to succeed and high desire to please others, as well as the often intense relationship between a student athlete and the coach, youth can sometimes be easily manipulated and confused about healthy relationships, and this may put them at risk for sexual abuse.

Learn more about the steps and resources available to enhance the safety of the youth involved in athletic programs.

Stop It Now! Online Resources:

For additional information and tools to create a Culture of Safety in your child's youth athletic club or organization, see below.


Safe to Compete

Provides access to resources and tools to increase awareness and protect student athletes.


Advocacy and prevention program with resources for student athletes, parents and sports clubs and organizations

Article: Out of Bounds: Sexual Abuse in Sports

Psychology Today (magazine) blogger with advice and tips for observing coaches and other’s behaviors

What Every Athlete Should Know (Safe4Athletes)

Information for the student athlete on sexual safety and getting help.

Sexual Abuse Center

Answers to Questions About Youth Sports Coach's Behavior.

Preventing Child Sexual Abuse within Youth-Serving Organizations: Getting Started on Policies and Procedures

A guide published by the Center for Disease and Control and Prevention with information about creating safe environments for children and teens in youth serving institutions and organizations.

Safe to Compete: An Introduction to Sound Practices in Keeping Children Safer to Youth Serving Organizations (Safe to Compete)

Booklet with guidance, tips and resources for making youth serving environments safer.