Experts Explain: How to Talk to Your Kids About Sexual Assault in Sports

Experts are speaking out on the importance of safety in sports in light of the recent alleged sexual abuse scandal involving USA Gymnastics, former national team doctor Larry Nassar and Michigan State University.

Dozens of alleged victims are currently pursuing lawsuits against USAG, MSU and Nassar — all claiming similar stories of abuse and neglect including allegations that Nassar inserted his fingers into their vaginas and rectums without gloves as part of what he claims was a legitimate medical treatment. (Nassar has pleaded not guilty and denies any wrongdoing.)

Nancy Hogshead-Makar of Champion Women, an advocacy group for female athletes, says open dialogue between a parent and child is key to preventing this type of sexual abuse. This is especially true in athletics — where the bond between coach (or doctor, trainer, mentor) and athlete are “much different” from that of a teacher-student relationship.