We as parents need to take action now. We need to be the front line of protection for our children. Do not leave your child alone in the gym with their coach for a one-on-one private lesson. Never allow your child to be behind closed doors with another adult. Begin the conversations now about “good” and “bad” touch. Open the lines of communication now so that your child is comfortable to talk to you when they need to. Educate your child! Educate yourself on warning signs of sexual abuse in children!
As gym owners, do background checks! Call references on a job resume! Monitor your coaches at all times. Check in at different points of the day and on various days so that your coaches are not aware of your observations. Institute rules and policies about private lessons. Remind your coaches that they should never be in a room alone with a child. Educate your employees with programs such as “Darkness To Light”. Talk with your clients regularly so that they are comfortable to discuss their concerns with you.
Coaches, monitor the actions of your co-workers. Keep each other in check. If you see a coach working privately with a child off to the side, walk over and check in. Remind each other that you should be clearly visible to parents and other coaches at all times. Do not allow another coach to be alone in a room, even the bathroom, if a child is in their alone.