The Boy Scouts of America (the BSA) is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States of America, with more than 2.3 million youth participants and almost one million adult volunteers. This institution has been known as one of the parameters for the definition of good citizens for generations. President John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush shown their scouting certificates as a proof of good character grounding. The core of existence is to train youth to become responsible, self-reliant, and attain moral excellence. Sadly, an institution that vowed to teach young men skills, and a sense of right and wrong has ironically grappled with sexual abusers for decades. Not only that, boys scout recently filed for bankruptcy as cases of molestation and sexual abuse continue to increase. What could have gone with this renowned, long-aged organization, and where does it stand? Let’s dig further!
Boy Scouts History of the Sexual Abuse Scandal
Before 1994, there were nearly 2000 boy scouts sexual abuse claims. Then in 1998, the organization founded a sex abuse education and prevention program called the Youth Protection program to help educate and prevent abuse. However, several other abuse cases have surfaced over the years. An investigation carried out in January by the scouts revealed that more than 12000 are already victims of abuse in scouting and more than 7000 are perpetrators, according to internal documents from 1946 through 2016. There have been several repeats of wrongdoers who are employees and volunteers that have been found guilty of molesting children. Moreover, a group of lawyers said boy scouts sexual abuse is far more than what the organization acknowledged and there are many cases that will still rise up as many decide to seek justice. This portrays the organization that has failed the children and young men contrary to what it stands for.
Boy scouts declare bankruptcy as new cases of sex abuse surges
The boy scouts file for bankruptcy in February after more cases have been discovered. The aim is to be able to respond to hundreds of lawsuits that have popped up and compensate victims who have been abused by scoutmasters across the states. Past lawsuits in regard to sexual abuse cost the organizations millions of dollars. For instance, In 2010, a jury ordered that the Scouts pay $18.5 million to a scout member who was a victim of abuse in 1980. One of the largest exemplary damages awarded to a single prosecutor in child abuse in the United States.
A clear deadline has been put in place in regard to this and victims have been encouraged to come forward, voice out, and seek compensation before the deadline. Moreover, the institution has also pledged to set up a “Victims Compensation Trust” to equitably compensate victims. This filing might not mark the end of the organization but it can have an adverse effect on the reputation and the financial standing for years.
Abuse survivors might have a hard time getting justice
This file for protection for bankruptcy will further complicate the path for justice for former victims to seek justice. Many who have suffered from childhood sexual abuse are now being faced with either to make an agonized rush in order to beat the deadline or wait till they deem fit to talk and sue the local councils. The chances of success in the latter are quite very slim. Victims who could not come forward before the deadline might have to forfeit justice or sue the local justice. Advocates for victims and lawmakers said their purpose has been defeated by setting out a timeline. This seems rather unfair as victims are supposed to be giving time to heal and gather the courage to speak up at their own pace and time. Rushing them can be more agonizing, some might not be able to make it before the deadline while some might even decide to let go of justice. Some of the victims remain however unbothered by the compensation, they only want to see justice prevail and an end put to sexual abuse in boys’ scouts. With this deadline, victims and their lawyers are limited on the case filing and they are in a battle against time.
States reaction to boy scouts sexual abuse
Some states have changed their laws to allow more time for victims of sexual abuse to sue their abusers. As many more who suffered from boy scouts abuse decades ago speak out, a wave of new lawsuits that were previously prevented has open doors to more legal claims. New York, California, and a few other states have loosened their statutes of limitations and opened more windows for victims to pursue their claim. With the deadline and the ease in statues, the local councils are faced with a barrage of lawsuits as many people are allowed to sue over long-ago sexual abuse. If you are one of the victims, seek boy scouts sexual abuse help. Let’s not fold hands and watch this menace go on. It’s time we break the silence!