The hard truth that all parents have to accept is that abuse does happen and it happens in youth leagues.

We don’t want our kids to miss out on the all the fun, learning, and exercise they will get from participating in youth sports. But we also fear that our child may become the victim of abuse.

We want to assume the best of people in general. We want more than anything to entrust our children’s coaches with their safety and assume that their passion for the sport and love for teaching kids is genuine. Unfortunately, the reality is that many people out there do use youth leagues as a means to get close to children for all the wrong reasons.

Sexual predators exist, and the most important step you can take as a parent to protect your kids is to make sure they are never alone with their coach or another adult in the organization.

You may have known your child’s coach for years or even be friends with them. They may even feel insulted that you would ever suspect them of such behavior. However, enforcing the Two-Adult Rule is as much for your kid’s protection as it is for the

The Two-Adult Rule requires that no fewer than two adults be present at all times when with a child.

The Two-Adult Rule is good because it:

Protects the child: Children are vulnerable to sexual abuse because they naturally trust their coaches. They’re often not given any reason not to. Parents don’t usually give their kids the sexual abuse talk until they start to feel it is necessary or begin to suspect something. Unfortunately, by that point, it may already be too late.

If the coach is never left alone with the child, they are protected from becoming a victim of grooming, molestation, or abuse.

Protects the coach: If the league has a rule that a coach and player can never be alone together, the coach will never find themselves in a situation where they have to defend themselves.

The smallest of accusations of any inappropriate behavior, touching or language on the part of the coach could potentially destroy their reputation and end their career. Even if the alleged behavior were later proven false, the emotional damage has already been done. And people may always be suspicious of that coach which will ruin their career in youth sports.

No opportunity for inappropriate behavior to occur means no opening for a sexual predator to strike and no allegations can be made. As parents and coaches, protect yourself and the kids by enforcing the Two-Adult Rule.