The Shocking Truth about Boy Scout Sex Abuse.
The Boy Scouts of America knew that thousands of children were being sexually molested by Scout leaders. Yet they did nothing to stop it. How do we know this? They kept the documents – 20,000 of them. Commonly referred to as the “perversion files” these documents detail the organization’s appallingly willful negligence and shine a light on the coverup that has taken place for nearly 100 years.
“It took me many decades to come to terms with the fact that the man in my tent — the pedophile breathing on my neck — is the guilty one. Shame on him for hurting that little boy.”
What’s inside the “perversion files.” (Brace yourself)
The numbers are staggering and heartbreaking. Files show that more than 12,000 children reported being sexually abused going all the way back to the 1940s. No, you didn’t read that wrong. Upwards of 12,000 young boys were victimized by these morally bankrupt men who forever changed the course of these children’s lives.
Here’s another shocker: Within the file are the names of nearly 8,000 Scout leaders blacklisted due to sexual abuse allegations, many of whom were (and are) men of stature in their communities; police officers, members of the military, teachers, doctors, child psychologists and even a mayor. These long-secret documents have been used internally by the BSA since 1919.
“I buried it so deep, I’m not even sure when it started happening.”
The BSA had their priorities– but it wasn’t our children.
The BSA now says it cares about its victims. But the fact is, the organization has fought transparency every step of the way and created practices that protected the abusers such as failing to report alleged child molesters to police and hiding the allegations from parents and the public. More than 1,600 confidential files dating from 1970 to 1991 found that admitted offenders were frequently urged to simply resign… quietly.
Here’s a particularly telling indication of the massive cover up that was taking place. Found within the ‘perversion files” is a form letter sent to Scout leaders being dismissed over abuse allegations. Here’s how it reads:
“We are making no accusations and will not release this information to anyone, so our action in no way will affect your standing in the community.”
Yes, despite credible allegations of abuse, these predators were free to continue their sexual assaults of children. Some were even allowed back into the organization.
Their terrible secret is out, but the pain and suffering is never-ending.
The effects of childhood sexual abuse can reach into every aspect of adult survivors’ lives leaving them vulnerable to mental health struggles, problems with relationships, substance abuse and physical ailments. Many survivors have spent a lifetime thinking they are somehow to blame.
“This predator stole four years of my life. I lost another 15 years to self-destructive behavior.”
For some survivors, breaking their isolation and sharing their stories with other survivors can promote health and healing in survivors. Others find healing by using the justice system to hold their abusers, and systems that support them, accountable.
For those who wish to speak out, the statute-of-limitation laws have been temporarily lifted for this historic BSA settlement. But the deadline to come forward is November 16th of this year.
If you or a loved one have been victimized, contact us today for a confidential and no-cost consultation. Contingency fee payment only if your claim is accepted.
“For years, this shame was my shame. It’s no longer my shame– it’s the Boy Scouts’ shame.”
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