Parents are always searching for positive opportunities for their children to learn and grow. For those interested in having their children develop relationships through providing service to others, the decision of whether to join the Boy Scouts often does not require a second thought.
The Scouts pride themselves on teaching young boys to live by their laws of reverence, obedience and loyalty. However, troop involvement does not always result in a positive experience for all involved – especially when respect is misdirected.
Allegations of sexual abuse among Scouts continues to climb
In many legal matters, a statute of limitations restricts your ability to file a lawsuit after a given period of time. However, in certain situations, such as instances of childhood sex abuse, an opportunity to hold leaders accountable for their actions may exist long after such actions took place.
A recent report about the Boy Scouts suggests:
- Secret files exist – The Scouts have kept private records of suspected child abusers, unwilling to make that information public.
- There are problems related to liability – Last year, the Scouts sued six of their insurers due to alleged improper coverage. Meanwhile, those insurers continue to defend their actions because the Scouts failed to warn parents about the possibility of abuse during scouting involvement.
- Allegations could be widespread – Serving over 2 million young men, men choosing to participate in seeking damages recently named at least 166 alleged abusers
- The scouts may face bankruptcy – Considering the amount of money a class-action lawsuit would involve, questions remain about the likelihood of financial resilience following pending litigation.
Lawmakers are working on implementing policies to extend the amount of time people who were abused as children can file a lawsuit against the organization. Meanwhile, there is anticipation that the class-action will include men from every state.
Did you experience abuse during your involvement with the Scouts?
The Boy Scouts are striving to improve the health and safety of those who participate in their programs through requirements which include required criminal background checks for each of their staff members and volunteers.
However, if you experienced sexual abuse as a Scout, you may be well within your rights to explore your options as an adult.