Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks

Representing the 5th District of Indiana
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Brooks: We must be a force for justice

May 23, 2017
News Releases

Washington, D.C. – This morning, Congresswoman Susan Brooks (R-IN05) participated with Speaker Paul Ryan (WI01), Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA23), Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA01), Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA05), and Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (R-IN02) in the weekly House Republican press conference. Brooks condemned the terrorist attack in Manchester, England, and as previously planned, spoke about her legislation to protect young Olympic hopefuls from abuse.

H.R. 1973, the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse Act, will be considered by the House this week. S. 534, companion legislation introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this month and is now awaiting consideration by the Senate. Indiana Senators Joe Donnelly and Todd Young are original co-sponsors of S. 534. Video of Brooks’ comments is available here and full text is below.

“In the face of heinous acts of violence, we must stand united against those who want to harm us, our allies and our way of life. Especially when they put young, innocent lives in their crosshairs.”

“My heart and my prayers, along with those of my colleagues, are with victims, the family and friends of those killed and the law enforcement officers who are continuing to work to investigate this despicable act and to unite families separated in the chaos last night.”

“It is our responsibility to protect our kids, and its government’s first job to protect our citizens. That’s why I’m proud to join a bipartisan group of colleagues to offer a bill, which is what we intended to come out and talk about this morning initially, the Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse Act.”

“Unfortunately, under current law, amateur athletic governing bodies– the organizations responsible for training our Olympic hopefuls – claim they have not been required to promptly report allegations of sexual abuse that they receive to the law enforcement authorities.”

“Most recently, an Indianapolis Star investigative report uncovered that over the last 20 years at least 368 children, Olympic hopefuls, reported instances of abuse to USA Gymnastics, based in Indianapolis, but USA Gymnastics allowed these allegations to remain dormant and unreported to law enforcement.”  

“Our bill makes sure that national governing bodies entrusted with the health and well-being of young athletes and future Olympians promptly report any allegations of sexual abuse to law enforcement and implement much stronger policies and procedures to prevent abusive coaches, trainers, and medical personnel from continuing to prey on young athletes.”

“In the face of violence and fear, we must be a force for justice. My prayers are with the victims and their families this morning.”