Boy Scouts of America Sex Abuse Lawyer

Thousands of former Boy Scouts have filed claims against the organization alleging that it failed to protect them from sexual predators. If you are a current or former Boy Scout and were sexually abused by a volunteer or staff member, you may be able to pursue justice against a local BSA council or sponsor.

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BSA Child Sex Abuse Claims

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is a prominent youth development organization that was formally known for teaching young boys survival skills, the importance of teamwork, and most importantly, morals and ethics. However, in recent years, thousands of former boy scouts have come forward with allegations of sexual abuse against the BSA. In response to these allegations, a federal review of BCA internal files found that the organization had sought to hide an extraordinary child sex abuse problem from the public and the authorities for decades.

A civil lawsuit can allow a sex abuse survivor to hold their abuser accountable and receive justice through potential financial compensation. If you or a loved one were sexually abused by a leader in the BSA, you may be entitled to compensation for the trauma you incurred. Contact the Boy Scouts of America sex abuse lawyers of Edwards Pottinger today to learn more.

Boy Scouts of America and Sexual Abuse

According to reports, the Boy Scouts of America, headquartered in Texas, failed to report and actively sought to cover up decades of sexual abuse allegations all the while failing to protect children from known and suspected abusers. While the BSA insisted that it was taking steps to protect young boys from abuse by banning child abusers from re-entering the organization, court-released documents from 1965 to 1985 showed that close to 8,000 adult leaders were accused of abusing over 12,000 young boys. These files were referred to as “ineligible volunteer files” by the BSA, but became known throughout the court case as the “perversion files.”

The BSA’s efforts to protect children from suspected sexual abusers through creating its system of “ineligible volunteer files” were largely insufficient, and records showed that known pedophiles were able to infiltrate the BSA institution by changing their names or when employees failed to conduct adequate background checks and screening. When this occurred, the BSA chose to protect the institution’s reputation by covering it up. BSA staff handled allegations of abuse quietly and rarely ever reported the abuser to the authorities.

Boy Scouts of America Files Bankruptcy

As a result of the 2012 court documents shining a light on the rampant sexual abuse taking place within the Boy Scouts of America, the organization was hit with thousands of lawsuits and was asked to pay millions of dollars in settlements. After being forced to pay out these multi-million settlements, the BSA’s insurance company dropped the organization, ultimately causing the youth organization to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2020. BSA announced it would use the bankruptcy process to form a legal trust to compensate victims.

While the deadline to join the compensation fund has passed, there are still exceptions that allow Boy Scouts sexual abuse survivors to achieve justice. Survivors may be able to file a lawsuit against a local BSA council or sponsor. Each of these cases is unique, so if you were sexually abused by a BSA leader, contact a sex abuse lawyer to see if you may be eligible to file a claim.

What is Boys Scout Sex Abuse?

According to the CDC, 1 in 13 boys in the U.S. will experience sexual abuse. Of those, 91% will be abused by someone that the child and the child’s family know and trust, like a Boy Scout leader. Young boy scouts are taught to trust and admire their Scout leader, and abusers may take advantage of this as well as opportunities like overnight trips and hikes in order to gain access to their victim.

The Boy Scouts of America compiled a list of what it deems as sexual abuse for the purposes of filing a legal claim:

  • Sexual comments, sexual touching, sexualized interactions, and molestation
  • Observing or taking photos of a child’s body
  • Making children in a group behave in a sexual way
  • Exposing a child to pornographic material
  • Oral, anal, or genital penetration
  • Fondling a child’s body

The Effects of Childhood Sexual abuse

Child Protective Services files a child sexual abuse claim every 9 minutes, but many experts think that the true number of sexually abused children is even higher due to fear of speaking out. Childhood sex abuse can create trauma that lasts for decades.

Short-Term Effects of Childhood Sex Abuse:

  • Sleeping difficulties and frequent nightmares
  • Fear and distrust of others
  • Fear of adults
  • Feelings like grief and shock
  • Low self-esteem
  • Outbursts of anger or aggression
  • Issues processing emotions
  • Declining school performance
  • Withdrawal from friends or family
  • Sexual behavior or knowledge that is advanced for their age

Long-Term Effects of Childhood Sex Abuse:

  • Alcohol and substance abuse issues
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Suicidal thoughts or tendencies
  • Anxiety, depression, personality disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • High-risk sexual activity
  • Fear of intimacy

Why Should I File a Boy Scouts Sexual Abuse Claim?

Filing a sex abuse claim can allow the survivor to hold their abuser and any other involved parties financially accountable for the damages they incurred. A sex abuse lawsuit can hold the perpetrators responsible and help to prevent it from happening again in the future.

Although the BSA bankruptcy court deadline has already passed, survivors of Boy Scouts sex abuse may still be able to seek compensation from BSA local councils and sponsors. These local councils own BSA camps, reservations, and properties across the country that likely played a part in the hiring of known and suspected sex abusers.

Boy Scouts Sex Abuse Statistics

CHILD USA, a non-profit think tank for children’s civil rights, compiled a list of statistics based on the data collected through a questionnaire given to the 1,576 claimants who alleged sexual abuse against BSA. Some of its findings include:

  • Camps were the locations scouts were more frequently abused at
  • The average age of a BSA scout that experiences sexual abuse is 12 years old
  • 96% of the sexual abuse was committed by a BSA leader
  • 1 in 5 boys was abused by more than one person

Contact a Boy Scouts Sex Abuse Lawyer

Reports show that the Boy Scouts of America failed to protect the millions of young boys that took part in its program, actively covered up instances of abuse, and failed to keep known pedophiles away from kids. Thousands of sex abuse survivors from around the country have already demanded justice and accountability from the BSA in order to protect future Boy Scouts and to be fairly compensated for what they tragically experienced.

At Edwards Pottinger, our sex abuse lawyers are dedicated to protecting the rights of survivors and fighting to ensure they receive the compensation they may be entitled to for the trauma they endured. Our sex abuse law firm has a proven track record of success advocating on behalf of those who have been abused and has won many multi-million dollar settlements on behalf of survivors like you. If you were a survivor of Boy Scouts of America childhood sexual abuse, contact the sex abuse lawyers of Edwards Pottinger today for a free legal case review to learn more.

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