Participation in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has been widely recognized as a beloved tradition and badge of honor since its beginning in 1910. Despite its positive reputation, thousands of previous Boy Scout members have filed sexual abuse lawsuits against the organization. The Boy Scouts recently filed for bankruptcy due to the significant number of lawsuits against them.
History of Boy Scout Sexual Abuse
When sexual abuse cases started to come out against Scout leaders, the organization claimed that it was unaware of the problem. However, it’s likely that it was aware of this issue as early as 1920. Confidential documents were released amidst lawsuits showing that the organization had made lists of staff members and volunteers that were sexual abuse offenders.
Even though the BSA knew of the sexual abuse problem, no victims were sought out. There have been 12,000 documented victims of sexual abuse within the organization, but this number is likely higher as many victims do not report their abuse.
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A lot of the current Boy Scout lawsuits date back to sexual abuse that occurred between the 1960s and 1980s. Policies created in the mid-1980’s sought to lessen the instances of abuse by requiring Scout leaders to go through criminal background checks and enforcing the presence of two volunteers during all activities.
What You Should Know About the Boy Scout Bankruptcy
Will the BSA continue to run its programs despite its legal troubles? Here’s what you should know about the Boy Scout bankruptcy:
- The Boy Scouts have over $1 billion in assets, so its bankruptcy is nontraditional.
- The Boy Scouts bankruptcy will call for a “financial restructuring.”
- It will rearrange its assets and liabilities in order to compensate sexual abuse victims.
- Boy Scouts programming will continue as this occurs.
Normally, people think bankruptcy shuts organizations down, but this is not the case with the Boy Scouts. The Boy Scouts have called for this financial reorganization in order to carry out its programs while compensating past sexual abuse victims and assisting them with any trauma.
Sexual Abuse in the U.S.
Sexual abuse, in any setting, has become prevalent in the U.S. Similar to the Boy Scout lawsuits, sexual abuse is likely to occur in places where people generally feel safe, such as the doctor’s office, school, or work. Every 73 seconds, someone in the U.S. is sexually abused. People should not have to feel fearful when going through their daily lives. Unfortunately, sexual abuse victims can be left with permanent mental and emotional trauma. Often times, their sexual offenders do not end up in prison as victims may not know their rights.
What Are Your Rights?
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Future sexual abuse can be prevented if offenders are brought to justice. Whether you or a loved one have fallen victim to sexual abuse while in the BSA or in everyday life, you have legal rights. Call one of our experienced Pintas & Mullins sexual abuse attorneys today at (800) 794-0444. You don’t pay anything unless we win.