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Boy Scout Abuse Reporting

By February 17, 2012June 19th, 2020No Comments

When the Canadian story first came out and the Scouts Canada stated that they had reported all cases to the police, I was skeptical.   Especially was I skeptical since in the Portland trial of Kerry Lewis v BSA in Portland in 2010, the testimony was that the Scouts, rarely, if ever, reported abuse to the police, notwithstanding that they had received nearly 1200 reports of abuse within Scouting from 1965-85.  Given that the average pedophile has between 5-20 victims, that means that somewhere between 6,000-24,000 boys were abused in Scouting just in those two decades–and that just represents the reported cases, and experts tell us that no more than 5% of all child abuse is reported.  So the numbers were staggering– and yet, almost never did BSA report any of this to the police.  So it seemed odd, to say the least, that Scouts Canada claimed that it had reported all abuse to law enforcement.

Happily, last year–I believe in large part due to our win in 2010–the BSA has begun to require all adult volunteers to report any suspected abuse to police, even if not in a state where such reports would be mandatory under child abuse reporting laws.  Once again, we see the power of civil litigation to force changes in institutions of trust that deal with children.