In light of an impending November deadline, experts expect over 50,000 survivors of alleged abuse in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to come forward and file claims against the infamous youth organization. As more Boy Scout sex abuse victims come forward every day, a new study finds concludes the Boy Scouts is no longer safe for children.
Since the BSA declared bankruptcy in February, the bankruptcy court set a bar claims deadline of November 16 for victims to file claims for their abuse in the Scouts. Already, around 35,000 Scouting abuse survivors filed claims, and thousands more come forward every week.
“People are just coming forward in droves,” said Andrew Van Arsdale, founder of AVA Law Group, who joined with two other law firms to create the coalition Abused in Scouting (AIS). Other lawyers in the litigation noted the number of Boy Scout victims so far largely surpasses similar cases, especially in comparison to abuse cases coming out of the Catholic Church.
Over the last few years, former Boy Scouts have shared horror stories of being abused as a child by Scoutmasters and volunteers in the BSA. Worst of all, many of these abusers were never held accountable for their actions, left to abuse hundreds of other children over the years.
Secret BSA records known as the “Perversion Files” indicate children were being abused in the Scouts as early as 1910, the founding year of the BSA. However, over time the BSA destroyed many of these records if they were considered “old” or “expired,” meaning thousands of abuse victims’ stories may have been lost due to the BSA’s negligence.
Child USA, an advocacy group for child abuse victims, used data provided by AIS to compile an overview of child sex abuse in the Boy Scouts. Their findings paint a horrific look into the BSA’s pedophile problem.
By looking at anonymous data from 1,576 AIS plaintiffs, Child USA found that over 70 percent of alleged Boy Scout sex abuse victims were abused multiple times. Over 50 percent of these incidents took place at Scout camps, leaving nearly every single victim with lifelong injuries including PTSD, intimacy issues, and alcohol and drug problems.
“Scouts is mistaken in their belief that teaching a child to build a fire or earn a badge is equivalent to situational strength,” the study’s researchers wrote. These scholars also noted that the BSA allowing children to go into the woods with strangers and without parents, local authorities, or safe places “creates repeated instances in which children are susceptible to abuse.”
On average, Boy Scout sex abuse victims were abused around the age of 12 and took an additional 30 years to come forward about their abuse. One scout was as old as 94 when he came forward and contacted AIS about his abuse.
“Most people do not know that claims of sexual abuse are rarely, rarely false,” said Carter Timon, a social scientist and researcher at Child USA. “These people are suffering, most of them for their whole lives.”
Child USA found a number of other horrific statistics about abuse in the Boy Scouts, including the following:
- 94% of cases involved Boy Scout leaders who had one-on-one contact with a child
- 82% of perpetrators were adults
- 3.8% of perpetrators were youths
- 79% of sexual abuse happened at a camp, meeting, or Scouting activity
- 71% of abuse victims were abused multiple times
- 64% of attackers remained in Scouting operations after the abuse was reported
- 20% of victims were abused by more than one person
In response to Child USA’s study, the BSA said the information was “unverified,” and that they are “committed to compensation victims through its restructuring.”
We're Here to Help Boy Scout Sex Abuse Victims
With the upcoming November 16 bar claims deadline, it is important for Scouting abuse survivors to come forward now. After this deadline passes, no more lawsuits can be filed against the BSA for past sexual abuse. This deadline, now only a few weeks away, means time is running out for Boy Scout sex abuse vicitms.
If you were sexually abused as a child while in the Boy Scouts of America, we're here to hold your abusers in the Boy Scouts accountable. We represent over 9,000 survivors of Scouting abuse across the nation, fighting for your right to compensation for your injuries. We understand compensation cannot fix the crimes of the past. But, compensation can help cover expenses caused by the abuse, including unwanted medical bills, lost wages, and pain & suffering.
By calling out the BSA for their negligence towards children, we hope to secure a safe future for children in the Scouts. To share your story and file a claim for your abuse, reach out to us today for a free case consultation at 1.888.99.SCOUT. Our legal professionals promise to keep your information safe and secure, and we maintain the utmost confidentiality in our consultations. We respect you, your privacy, and your story. To speak to a legal professional today about your abuse, call us today.