As the Boy Scouts of America continues its bankruptcy proceedings, victims of sexual abuse within the organization are encouraged to file their claims before the November 16 deadline. It’s important to know that if you have been a victim of sexual abuse in the Boy Scouts, you’re not alone. An internal list made public by the organization revealed that 12,254 boys have been sexually abused by at least 7,800 suspects between 1944 and 2016.
Who are the Boys Scouts of America?
Founded in 1910 and modeled after its British counterpart, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States today and contains more than 100 million participants. Though its mission is to “prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes,” unfortunately, throughout the years and especially in light of recent lawsuits, it’s clear that the organization is no longer known for this goal.
A Long History of Abuse
Instances of sexual abuse have been documented within the organization with decades, and leadership had a private list of Scout leaders and other staff who had been accused of sexually abusing young boys. Known as the “Perversion Files” and the “Red Files,” the reports have been compiled as far back as the 1920s, and the organization has since admitted that they’ve removed thousands of abusers by 1935.
By 1971, Boy Scout leaders admitted to destroying files once the accused were deemed “too old” or “outdated.” If the abuser was over the age of 80 or had passed away, their file was destroyed. Thousands of records of sexual abuse were removed.
Though there have been thousands of lawsuits, many tie them back to a 2007 case when six Oregon men sued the Boy Scouts and alleged that they were abused by an assistant scoutmaster sometime in the 1980s. It was during this trial that the jury read thousands of internal abuse records, and the case ended in a $19+ million award in damages. Since this trial, more and more former scouts have been encouraged to file lawsuits, leading to the organization to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2020. Their listed assets add up to $10 billion.
BSA Sexual Abuse Stats
According to information gained in lawsuits and the Perversion Files, there have been some notable characteristics of abusers within the Boy Scouts.
These characteristics include:
- 47% of abusers were single
- 50% of Scouting leaders accused did not have a child of their own in any BSA program
- 100% accused troop leaders were left alone with boys (BSA has prohibited this since 1987)
If you or a loved one has been victimized while in the Boy Scouts, it’s important that you contact an attorney to report the abuse and begin filing your claim. With just months until the deadline, you need the experience of an attorney to help you act efficiently so you have an opportunity to pursue justice.
Attorneys with a Record of Success
At Bertram & Graf, L.L.C., our experienced attorneys are known among our peers and throughout the state for our commitment to helping injured individuals recover. Whether you are suffering from the effects of physical injuries or mental trauma, your pain is real and deserves to be treated without you having to go into debt. Our team has been able to recover financial compensation for clients who are deserving and can help you cover the costs of medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and more.
Call Bertram & Graf, L.L.C. today at (888) 398-2277, or contact us online for a free consultation if you’ve been injured, and especially if you’ve been injured by a party who has potentially injured others. Our personal injury attorneys are here to help.