Decision Maker Response

Dianne Feinstein’s response

Jan 30, 2018 — I first met with survivors of Larry Nassar’s abuse nearly a year ago. Their courage was extraordinary, as they told me about the years of abuse they had endured.

They also told me about how their beloved sport of gymnastics was filled with adults and institutions who chose to protect abusers and silence victims. It enraged me.

I knew then that Congress needed to act immediately to enact system wide reforms. And since then, I have not stopped pushing for legislation that would prevent institutions like USA Gymnastics from turning a blind eye to predatory behavior and criminal sexual abuse ever again. Congress must act now to pass S. 534.

S. 534, Protecting Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017, makes several concrete changes to current law. First, it broadens mandatory child abuse reporting laws to cover individuals affiliated with USA Olympic sports organizations and amateur sports organizations.

Second, the bill improves current law that allows victims to sue their abusers by extending the statute of limitations to cover instances when a victim may not discover that she was abused until much later in life.

Third, it mandates broad reforms for all 47 national governing bodies, to ensure uniformity when abuse allegations are raised, and also strict oversight for Olympic organizations to ensure that all national governing bodies are following the proper policies and procedures.

I want to thank each and every survivor who continues to shine the light on these horrific crimes. It’s time we hold to account not just the abusers but also the institutions who continue to protect them. Their time is up.