U.S. Figure Skating Launches SafeSport Program

(6/4/13) - U.S. Figure Skating, with support from the Professional Skaters Association (PSA), has launched the SafeSport Program, which strives to provide a safe environment for its members and protect the opportunity to participate in an atmosphere that is free of harassment and abusive practices.

"U.S. Figure Skating is committed to providing a safe and positive environment for our members' physical, emotional and social development and ensuring it promotes an environment free from abuse and misconduct," U.S. Figure Skating President Patricia St. Peter said. "Through the U.S. Figure Skating SafeSport Program, U.S. Figure Skating is committed to providing the safest possible environment for all participants."

The SafeSport Program applies to all U.S. Figure Skating clubs, programs, events and activities. It provides resources to help identify sexual, physical and emotional abuse and misconduct; bullying, threats and harassment; hazing and willfully tolerated misconduct. The SafeSport Program outlines steps that should be taken to reduce abuse and misconduct and offers procedures to respond to them.

Based on tenets of the U.S. Olympic Committee's SafeSport program, U.S. Figure Skating has tailored the program to meet the specific needs of its membership. The organization will not tolerate or condone any form of harassment or abuse of any of its members, including athletes, coaches, officials, directors, employees, parents, volunteers or any other persons while they are participating in or preparing for a figure skating activity or event conducted under the auspices of U.S. Figure Skating.

"We applaud the efforts of U.S. Figure Skating in launching a targeted SafeSport program," said Malia Arrington, USOC director of ethics and SafeSport. "Increasing efforts to prevent harassment and abuse at the grassroots level is critical to maintaining safe environments that foster healthy competition across all levels of sport. Addressing misconduct issues is a team effort - by working together with National Governing Bodies such as U.S. Figure Skating, we can ensure that sport continues to provide a multitude of benefits to athletes of all ages."

For more information on the U.S. Figure Skating SafeSport Program, go to www.usfigureskating.org/SafeSport or email safesport@usfigureskating.org.

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