USA Swimming has partnered with RealResponse, a platform for anonymously reporting abuse, the organization announced Monday.
Launched in 2015, RealResponse greatly expanded its reach in 2020, and the organization now partners with the National Football League’s Denver Broncos, over 100 universities, and governing organizations such as USA Track & Field and USA Gymnastics. Its goal is to give both athletes and staff a safe and secure way to share feedback and report concerns.
Starting September 1, 2022, USA Swimming members will be able to submit reports of abuse anonymously or on the record by texting 888-270-SWIM. The platform allows select USA Swimming staff to follow up on reports while maintaining the anonymity of the reporter.
As part of its plan to appropriately follow up on these reports, USA Swimming has hired two additional SafeSport staff members focused on responding to reports they receive through RealResponse. Cha’Vera Jackson will serve as a SafeSport Manager, handling matters such as case intake and processing. She will also play a role in educating and training USA Swimming members to better prevent abuse and misconduct.
Michael Mares will serve as a Case Management Coordinator. In addition to his SafeSport role, Mares will be responsible for coordinating Code of Conduct matters, including whistleblowing and discrimination reports. Both join USA Swimming from the El Paso County Department of Human Services. There, they worked as case managers handling child, youth and family services matters.
USA Swimming piloted its RealResponse platform this summer, making it available to the U.S. National and Junior National Teams during their respective international competitions.
The new launch will also aid USA Swimming in its ability to piece together evidence and follow up on previous reports.
“We are excited to provide this valuable new resource for our USA Swimming members,” said Liz Hahn, Program Director for Safe Sport at USA Swimming. “Our utilization of this platform will allow all members to easily report from their phones, while still remaining anonymous – if they wish.
“In addition to continuing to provide anonymous reporting, this tool will allow USA Swimming to gather additional facts to effectively permit staff to follow up on all reports.”
RealResponse allows individuals to report abuse through text messaging. All current reporting mechanisms such as email, phone and the online reporting form, will continue to be available here.