Testimony from

A Praying Mom

Dear AIS,

I will never be able to express my deepest gratitude towards you for your dedication to my abused son. When we let him attend BSA Camp at age 11, in 2000, I never imagined that this would be the greatest mistake of my parenting years. It wasn’t until he was 20, after a suicide attempt, that I learned that a man with a grey beard had assaulted my son at camp when he was only 11. In the ER, I begged my son to tell me why he would ever try and take his precious life. In truncated, broken language, he gave me little
pieces of information about a Merit Badge counselor and things that he did to my son. But, then he shut down again. That was in 2009.

We tried everything we could to help our son, but, truthfully, “Boys Never Tell.” Then, in October 2012, my son forwarded me a newspaper article about the 6,200 Perversion Files uncovered by an attorney named Timothy Kosnoff. I copied everything I could find about this attorney who actually cared about these crimes against our children. I hired our own attorney to help us. She had successfully settled cases against the Catholic Church, and other organizations. She was wonderful, but my son wasn’t ready to talk. Since my son’s suicide attempt, I’ve spent the last 11 years researching Childhood Sexual Abuse and talking with male survivors, seeking to understand the trajectory of social anxiety, panic attacks, drug addiction, homelessness, suicidal ideation that haunts victims of CSA. I even learned that an area in the brain called the Broca Area actually experiences a stroke-like event the moment the child is abused and then renders the child speechless. My son literally can’t speak of his abuse in full, complete sentences.

When my son sent me a picture in June 2020 of the Public Awareness Alert from Abused In Scouting that he took from a television in a hotel room, my heart burst. Tears wouldn’t stop for me. Once again, my son was giving me little hints that I was right to help him in this traumatic area of his life. I called AIS and shared my story, and, again, I had to hold back tears because everyone who spoke to me on the phone validated my pain and suffering as I watched my son’s beautiful life destroyed by what that awful Merit Badge counselor did to my little boy when he was only 11.

My son agreed to file a claim and fill out the questionnaire and hit “send”. Because of the promise of anonymity and because his claim is being filed with all the other claims, my son felt safe to participate. Safe to participate! Honestly, I don’t know if the suffering my son has endured will ever be reversible, but I do know that participating in the claims against Boy Scouts of America is an incredibly brave step for my son, made possible because of Abused In Scouting. Thank you, AIS, from the depths of my mothering heart, for being a safe place for my son to finally get his story out from his inner being and into the community of survivors abused in scouting. I believe that this may truly help him see that the abuse was never his fault but the fault of a negligent organization who was not protecting children.

God bless you,

A Praying Mom


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