Ernst Calls for Passage of Bill to Protect U.S. Athletes from Sexual Abuse

“We must send a message that we will simply not tolerate sexual assault. We won’t tolerate it in our gyms, we will not tolerate it on our college campuses, and we simply will not tolerate it in the military.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst, along with a bipartisan group of Senators and former members of the U.S.A. Gymnastics national team, held a press conference today to call on Congress to pass legislation to require the immediate reporting of suspected sexual abuse at facilities under the jurisdiction of U.S. amateur athletics governing bodies. Additionally, the bipartisan legislation would require U.S. amateur sports organizations to put policies in place to ensure the prevention of sexual abuse in the first place.

Click here or on the image to watch Senator Ernst’s full remarks

The following is the full text of Senator Ernst’s remarks:

“Thank you very much, I do appreciate the opportunity to be here today and join my colleagues. Senator Feinstein and Senator Collins, thank you for your leadership on this bill. It is so important that we are supporting these brave, strong women- our young athletes. So thank you ladies for being here today.

“We must send a message that we will simply not tolerate sexual assault. We won’t tolerate it in our gyms, we will not tolerate it on our college campuses, and we simply will not tolerate it in the military.

“Sexual assault is a horrendous crime and we must work to ensure that there is zero tolerance for sexual assault in any facet of our society.

“As my colleagues have noted, this specific bill works to combat and prevent sexual assault by strengthening mandatory reporting of sexual assault allegations, and a mandatory reporting of those sexual assault allegations, and requiring U.S. amateur sports organizations to develop and enforce policies to prevent sexual assault from happening in the first place.

“There’s nothing you can do once this has happened. You can’t go back and undo it, so we have to prevent it before it ever occurs.

“I am proud to support it, and I look forward to continuing to work with Senator Feinstein and the other original cosponsors of this bill and we must, absolutely must, move this forward.

“I want to thank the young ladies who are here today. We appreciate your strength and determination. God bless you for being here and bringing this to light. Thank you.”