CHILD USA, a University of Pennsylvania-based think tank focused on child abuse and neglect, announced the establishment of an independent Blue Ribbon Commission to investigate the institutional response to sexual abuse by former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. “Game Over: Commission to Protect Youth Athletes” will engage in a fact-finding exercise, releasing a report of their findings in 2020 and issuing recommendations to prevent future child sex abuse.
Philip Scribano, DO, MSCE, Director of Safe Place: The Center for Child Protection and Health was chosen as one of the 16 commission members.
“The Nassar case brings so many issues to light in our systemic failures to adequately protect children from abuse,” says Dr. Scribano. “No child should fear of being abused because they participate in athletics programs. Through our research and investigation, we hope to identify the gaps in keeping children safe from abuse within athletics programs and improve our collective abilities for better protection measures.”
The sex abuse scandal centered around Dr. Larry Nassar, team doctor for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University, is one of the most complex in modern history, involving many institutions, coaches and adults — all of whom failed to appropriately protect hundreds of children from sex abuse. A total of 156 women and girls testified against Nassar at his 2017-18 criminal trial, but 265 have come forward so far. Experts believe there are likely more.