Site name


Katherine Starr (Founder and President)


Tel: 310.309.1128        


 Katherine is a two time Olympian 1984 and 1988 (Great Britain). In 1986 she won two silver medals at the Commonwealth Games. Katherine experienced success at the collegiate level in swimming for the University of Texas, participating on three NCAA championship teams and named 14-time All-American.

Katherine founded Safe4Athletes in 2011 as a result of living for decades with pain and suffering from the tragic effects of coach athlete sexual abuse. Safe4Athletes was brought to life to help other athletes who have experienced the same destructive abuse of power in the coach athlete relationship.  Safe4Athletes’ mission is to advocate for athletes that have been abused, bullied or harassed by their more powerful coach or teammate. 

Katherine has acted as an advocate for athletes involved in coach-athlete sexual abuse, athlete on athlete sexual abuse, athlete cyber-bullying, athlete sexual hazing as well as many forms of athletic abuse in general.

Since speaking out about abuse in sports, Katherine has developed a reputation for her expertise and eloquence on coach athlete sexual abuse. This is evident by the rapid growth of traditional media and social media attention on the problem of coach-athlete sexual abuse since the inception of Safe4Athletes including features with ESPN (Outside the Lines), NBC Sports Radio, NPR, BBC Radio, NY Times,  the Takeaway, CBS Sports Radio, Take Part Five (PIVOT Channel), Aljazeera Americaas well other nationally recognized media outlets in sports.  

Katherine oversees Safe4Athletes and actively pressures National Governing Bodies to adopt stronger polices for all athletic clubs and programs. She champions legislation to implement stronger policy to give athletes rights at all levels of sports.

Through her work, Katherine educates lawyers/media/NGBs on the unique aspects of the power dynamic that exists in the coach athlete relationship. Katherine has also written several articles on the topic including “Breaking Down Sexual Abuse in Sports”. She speaks openly about the failed representations in educational material on sexual abuse in sports and how those materials fall short in properly addressing the truth of the issue in competitive sports.


 Pepperdine School of Law – Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution –  (Masters Program) Accepted (Fall 2016) 

University of Texas, Austin  - Sociology, B.A

ATIXA– Title IX Coordinator and Administrator Training & Certification Course (Atlanta, GA)

Safeguarding and Protecting Children in Sport(SPC) – NSPCC – Leicester, England

Sports Lawyers Association Conference 2014, Chicago, Ill – Legal Issues Surrounding Bullying and Hazing in Sports

International Working Group - Women in Sport 2014, Helsinki, Finland 2014 - Sexual Harassment in Sport a Global Issue


Safe4Athletes 2011- Present:Advocate for Athlete welfare – sexual abuse, bullying and harassment. Addressed all issues in sports from cyber bullying to sexual hazing to coach-athlete relationship abuse.

  • Expert Media Interviews – National and International Expert for issues in regards to athlete sexual abuse. Interview for the BBC, NPR, the Takeaway (NY Times Radio), NBC and CBS Radio as well national magazine publications like Marie Claire (Dec 2013 edition).
  • Worked with National Governing Bodies and Athletic Departments across the US to pressure administrators to implement more comprehensive policies for open amateur youth sports.
  • Developed customized programs and policies for USA collegiate athletic departments – Div 1.
  • Educated local leadership units across the country in the implementation of Safe4Athletes comprehensive programs addressing sexual abuse, bullying and harassment.
  • Consulted on national cases involving coach-athlete relationships
  • Lectured across the country on solutions to change the landscape for open amateur sports and provide a safe and positive environment for every athlete.
  • Advocated for athletes at all levels of sport, including professional sports organization.
  • Worked with Athlete-Parents (athletes over 18 yrs old) in addressing issues of abuse, bullying and Harassment in the sports environment.
  • Worked with Athlete Welfare Advocates (AWA) – training them on the Safe4Athletes Policies, point of contact to walk AWA thru the policies and procedures when violations have occurred at the local level; Work with AWA to resolve issues as they arise.

 University of Utah– Created Comprehensive Athlete Protection Program – 2013

  • Implemented a new role of Athlete Welfare Advocate for all Student-Athletes.
  • Designed a communication system for athletes to file complaints outside of the athletic department.
  • System infrastructure includes President of the University being in the loop for all Athlete complaints.
  • Athlete “safe” approach for filing complaint against coaches and administrators being accused of abuse or harassment by a student-athletes.
  • Successfully revised the policy to prohibit any intimate coach-athlete relationship.
  • Created Coaches Code of Conduct.
  • Coaches oversight program and monitoring requirements.
  • Implemented comprehensive policies for the entire athletic department, athletes and staff including the wellness team.

 Sports Club Athlete Advocate

Directly involved with many Safe4athletes program, to address all issues of abuse.  Support is provided in responding directly to concerns of abuse, investigation, and recommend resolution and direction based on the findings of the incident.

 Published Writings

The Real Truth About Collegiate Athletic Scholarships

Synopsis:Addresses abusive coaches that makes sports environments so unbearable that an athlete quits, just to be able to restore himself or herself to sanity. The silent injuries that aren't being recognized as injuries at all such as the harassment and abuse of a coach, or teammate for that matter, that leaves an athlete to suffer with no voice.

 The Vieth Report: Did It Hit the Mark or Miss All Together?

Synopsis:Addresses the failed understanding of the issues of coach-athlete sexual abuse and the types of sexual abuse and harassment that has thrived in the sports culture for decades.

Has Bullying Been Normalized in Sports?

Synopsis: Looks at bullying in sports and professional sports and how the culture has been normalized and therefore providing very little resources for the athletes to speak up when they are bullied.

The Truth about Coach-Athlete Relationships

Synopsis: Looks at the types of cases that have been in the news in regards to coach-athlete sexual abuse and the resources that are being offered, pointing out they are not addressing the truth of the issue.  Emphasizing the truth missing is the issue of sexual harassment and the power dynamic between the coach-athlete and how it is consistently overlooked and misunderstood.

Are You Really Prepared for the Upcoming Sports Season?

Synopsis: What steps can parents and sports team take to make sure policies and procedures are in place for abuse, bullying and harassment.

When Did the System Fail Kelley Davies Currin and the Rest of Us?

Synopsis: The worst kept secret of Kelly Davies Currin that stayed alive on the pool deck for over twenty years with no action from USA Swimming and decades of denial.

Breaking Down Sexual Abuse in Sports

Synopsis:The competing athlete has something at risk, for example, dreams of being an Olympian, a college scholarship, playing time or financial gain. There is a complex 'hook' keeping the athlete engaged in a relationship even when abusive and unhealthy. The athlete has to make decisions for the family, the team and the coach. When speaking up about the abuse, the athlete could be subject to retaliation from the team if there is a perceived threat of their dreams being compromised as a result of the coach removal; the parents that sacrificed everything to make sure that the child-athletes dreams are fulfilled or the coach that convinces the athlete that the only reason for her/his success is because of the "coach."

Times Have Changed -- So Should Athlete Safety

Synopsis:A mindset needs to be adopted within the sports community in order to protect our child-athletes from abuse. The coaches who spend hours upon hours each day with our child-athletes -- coaches who are possible pedophiles, bullies and emotional abusers -- are not constrained with any behavioral guidelines. We have not protected our child-athletes with the mindset that any coach among us could be a predator.

Athlete/Parent Shortcuts Lead to Athlete Suffering in the Long Run

Synopsis:accountability and commitment doesn't seem to translate to parents once they give up their child to the care of a youth sports program. There is an assumption that supervision is provided by coaches of unquestionable integrity and club policies exist to protect young athletes

 The Term 'Improper Relationship' Will Not Change the Culture Needed for Coach/Athlete Sexual Abuse

Synopsis:When one is talking about a 12-year-old girl and uses the term "improper relationship" to describe what transpired between a coach and athlete that term cannot come close to magnitude of the damage and wreckage created by sexual abuse between a minor child and coach.

 $60 Million Later and We're Still Vulnerable– July 2012 – Huffington Post

Synopsis: We need better laws and infrastructure in place to address coach-athlete sexual abuse with an independent investigation body.

Keep Our Child Athletes Safe– Jan 2012 – Huffington Post

Synopsis:Addressing while there are laws that criminalize sexual and physical abuse, but often, these coaches hold such power and sway, not to mention the keys to a bright, gold-medal-filled future, that the kids are intimidated into silence. They prioritize their own future Olympic team berth over emotional and physical health.

 Confronting Sexual Abuse and Harassment by Sport Coaches: A Need for a National Effort UnpublishedPosition Paper – Referenced in several books, including the Athletic Directors Desk Reference

I Was Sexually Abused As an Olympic Athlete Too. We Can End This Epidemic:Published (Oct 2017) 

Synopsis: It’s time to make sports, Hollywood, and all professional spheres safe for young girls to excel and freely express their passion. None of us are completely powerless. We can demand our leaders open their eyes to what is going on and take action against it.

 The IOC Consensus Statement: Harassment and Abuse in Sport

Publication: British Sports Medicine Journal (Feb 2016)


Listed expert contributor

Senate Hearings May 17, 2017

Official Record: Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse Act of 2017

Speaking Engagements

Long Island Sports Commission – Keynote Speaker – April 2012 – Long Island, NY

Topic: Confronting Sexual Abuse and Harassment by Sport Coaches – “How and Why to Protect Athletes from Abuse, Bullying and Harassment in sports”

Southwest Conference Trainers Conference – Speaker – July 2012 – Dallas, TX

Confronting Sexual Abuse and Harassment by Sport Coaches – “How and Why to Protect Athletes from Abuse, Bullying and Harassment in sports”

Sports Law and Ethics Symposium – Speaker  – Sept 2012 -Santa Clara, CA

Topic: How to Prevent Sexual Abuse in Sports

National Center for Victims of Crime – Presenter – Sept 2012 – New Orleans, LA

Confronting Sexual Abuse and Harassment by Sport Coaches – “How and Why to Protect Athletes from Abuse, Bullying and Harassment in sports”

California Women’s Conference – Panel Speaker – Sept 2012 – Long Beach, CA

Women in Sports Panel Presentation discussing the 40th anniversary of Title IX.

Male Survivors Conference – Panel Speaker - Nov 2012 - New York, NY 

Topic: How to Prevent Sexual Abuse in Sports

Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) United Nations – Panel Speaker - March 2013 – New York, NY

Topic: How and Why to Prevent Sexual Abuse in Sports

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMIC) Safe to Compete Conference March 2013, Alexandria, VAby invitation onlyprivate conference with leaders from Sports National Governing Bodies and various Youth Sports Organization came together to discuss best practices for Youth Safety.

United States Independent Gymnastics ClubsNational Championships - July 2013 – Palm Springs

Topic:How to Speak up and Prevent Abuse, Bullying and Harassment with the Safe4Atheltes Program.

Tenacity – Speaker– Aug 2013 - Boston, MA

Topic: How to be an Athlete Welfare Advocate within the Safe4Athletes Program

Santa Clara Law School Symposium – Speaker – Oct 2013 – Santa Clara, CA

Topic:How and Why to Prevent Sexual Abuse in Sports

Overbrook High School - Guest Speaker – Jan 2014- Philadelphia, PA

Topic:How to Speak up and Prevent Abuse, Bullying and Harassment with the Safe4Atheltes Program.

Martin Luther King Jr.  High School Guest Speaker – Jan 2014 - Philadelphia, PA

Topic:How to Speak up and Prevent Abuse, Bullying and Harassment with the Safe4Atheltes Program.

Sharon High School – Guest Speaker - Feb 2014 - Sharon, PA

Topic:How to Speak up and Prevent Abuse, Bullying and Harassment with the Safe4Atheltes Program.

Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) United Nations - March 2014 - New York, NY

Topic: Educating about, and preventing, sexual harassment in sports

International Women and Sport (IWS) Conference – Speaker/Presenter – June 2014 – Helsinki, Finland  

Topic: Understanding Trends on Abuse in Sports: Results of the Safe4Athletes Survey

International Swim Coaches Association – Aug 2014 - Tampa, FL

Topic: Best Practices for Preventing Sexual Abuse in Youth Sports

MomsTeam Institute – Speaker – Harvard Medical School – Sept 2014

Topic: How to Prevent Sexual Abuse in Youths Sports, best practices

Santa Clara Law School Symposium – Speaker – Oct 2014 – Santa Clara, CA

Topic: Addressing the Complexity of Emotional Abuse in College Sports 

World Aquatic Health Conference – Speaker – Oct 2015 – Phoenix

Topic: Prevention against Sexual Abuse at Aquatic Facilities

Gymnastic World – Speaker – Oct 2015 - Cleveland

Topic:How to Speak up and Prevent Abuse, Bullying and Harassment with the Safe4Atheltes Program.

Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) United Nations - March 2016 - New York, NY

Topic: Creating local Policy for global change

Sport Resolution Conference – May 2016 – London, England

Topic: Safeguarding Elite Athletes

United Nations: Protecting Women and Sport – March 2017

Topic; Policy and Prevention from a global prospective


Upcoming Events


 WeLead - Atlanta Jun 28-30, 2019


Workshop Consultant

Beyond Sport Conference - Sept 2013 - Philadelphia, PA

Topic: Safeguarding in Sports Workshop


Media Engagements (partial list)

National and Local TV Interviews

The Stream – Al Jazeera America – Featured Guest - High Price of Olympic Glory

Take Five – Pivot Channel – Featured Guest - Safety issues in Youth Sports

NBC Phoenix, AZ - Investigative Story – Expert Contributor

CBS – New York – Sexual Abuse in Sports and the vulnerabilities of Elite Athletes

Fox Syndicated News - New York, NY - Sexual Abuse in Sports and the vulnerabilities of Elite Athletes

ABC Syndicated News – New York, NY - Sexual Abuse in Sports and the vulnerabilities of Elite Athletes

NBC – WFMJ – Youngstown, Ohio - Former Olympic athlete offers help for sexual abuse victims

PBS – Documentary – Best Practices in Preventing Sexual Abuse in Youth Sports

FOX 11 LA – Expert Commentary on Sexual Abuse of an Athlete (Dec 2016)

ESPN - Outside the Lines (Nov 2017) – Expert Consultant on Sexual Abuse in Sports

WLS-TV – Chicago – Preventing Sexual Abuse in Sport  (Feb 2018)


Radio Shows

CBS Radio – New York

The Takeaway – Subsidiary of New York Times

NBC Sports Radio

BBC Radio 4 – Documentary – Sexual Abuse in Sports

NPR - SoCal Olympic swimmer travels to London Olympic Games 2012 to combat athlete abuse

“Women in Sports “ – Expert on Sir Lanka Cricket team and wide spread sexual abuse

BBC – Joel Hammer Show (Oct 2015) (Nov 2016) (Jan 2018)

BBC – Sports Hour (2016)

BBC – Feature Story (Oct 2016)

BBC Domestic News Guest (2016, 2017, 2018)

BBC News Hour Featured Guest (2016, 2017, 2018)

KLAA – Community Cares – Angels Radio (2012) (2018)


National Magazines

Marie Clare Magazine – Addressing the issues and the vulnerability to Athletes being sexual abused, the failures of the National Governing Bodies to address independently.

Runners World – Addressing the issues and the vulnerability to Athletes being sexual abused and without resources to help.

Swim News– Empowering Swimmers and Ending Abuse

The Atlantic– Emotional Abuse in Sports


Newspaper Media – Online & Print (short list)

New York Times – Commented on WNBA hire and sexual harassment implications (May 2015)

Orange Country Register – Front Page Sunday Edition

Austin American Statesman – Front Page of the Sports Section                                     

New York Daily News – Featured Story

Independent British Paper – Featured expert

Dayton Daily News – Featured expert about Kayla Harrison sexual abuse victim

IndyStar – Quoted on Jerry Sandusky outcome and the $60 Million Settlement.

IndyStar – Gymnastics Sexual Abuse

Washington Post – Gymnastics Sexual Abuse

Vice – Featured Article

Wall Street Journal Weekend Edition – Feature Story on Katherine Starr and Safe4Athletes


Board of Directors/Advisory Boards

Safe4AthletesChair of Board

US Center for Safe Sport(USOC Independent center to investigate and adjudicate allegations of sexual abuse in sports) – Advisory Board Member

Safe Sport International– An International Organization to provide best practices in policies to National Sports Governing Bodies, International Sports Federations –Founding Member

MomsTeam Institute– Advisor Board – Sexual Abuse prevention in Youth Sports         

Paradigm Treatment FacilityAdvisor Board Member– Teen treatment center specializing in Athlete emotional trauma

SoCal Olympians and Para-Olympians – Board Member (2014-Present)


Expert Witness / Consulting

International Olympic Committee (IOC) - Expert on Harassment & Abuse in Sports – July 2015

University of Utah Athletic Department – Policy Development – 2013

Senator Feinstein Office – Feinstein Sexual Abuse Bill (2017)

Norwegian Olympic Committee – Review, Policy Development and implementation of best practices, for all sports program in Norway.

Zambia Olympic Committee - Review, Policy Development and implementation of best practices

Zimbabwe Olympic Committee - - Review, Policy Development and implementation of best practices

African Youth Games (2018) - - Technology Strategy, Policy Development and implementation of best practices for all youth athletes attending the Games

USA Government Office of Accountability – Youth Sport Campus on College Campus athlete abuse prevention strategies (2015)

European Union – Best Practices for Sexual Abuse Prevention in Sport


Current On-Going Case Involvement (Unable to disclose full details)

Fabian vs Earth Treks – Maryland (Plaintiff)

Doe vs Arizona Board of Regents – Arizona (Plaintiff)

Doe vs Hesperia Unified School District- CA (Plaintiff)

Doe vs Regents of the University of California– CA (Defendant)

Doe vs. USA Gymnastics (Plaintiff) (multiple –cases)

Doe vs. Pop Warner Little Scholars (Plaintiff) (multiple defendants)

Doe vs. Torrance School District (multiple – cases) (plaintiff)

Dewitt vs. Federal Way School District (Plaintiff)

Doe 140 vs. Amateur Athletic Union of the United States,, Inc.

Landstrom vs. Amateur Athletic Union of the United States,, Inc.