Sen. Ernst calls for bill to protect athletes from sexual abuse - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Sen. Ernst calls for bill to protect athletes from sexual abuse

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (KWWL) -

Senator Joni Ernst is calling for immediate action to protect young athletes in the U.S. from sexual abuse.

Sen. Ernst was joined by a group of senators and former members of the U.S. Gymnastics national team at a press conference Tuesday in Washington, D.C.  She is calling for Congress to pass legislation that requires people to immediately report suspected sexual abuse at facilities run by the government.  A bill would also put policies in place to prevent sexual abuse from happening.

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.”

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