Over two hundred additional sex abuse victims have come forward making new allegations against the Boy Scouts of America, according to USA Today. The ages of sex abuse victims vary. Some are still minors, some are in their 20s, and some much older. It’s very common for Boy Scout sex abuse victims to hide their pain for many years without telling anyone about the abuse they suffered. For example, one victim in his 50s alleges that he was abused in middle school. He was confused about what happened and it took him many years to figure out that he was a victim, that he did nothing wrong, and that it was the adult who was at fault.
With so many victims coming forward for the first time and making claims, approximately 150 new alleged pedophiles have been identified. Also, sex abuse lawyers representing some of the victims allege that children are still being abused, according to the Washington Post. The two hundred victims are from 33 different states, so the abuse was not just happening in one localized area. The problem appears to be nationwide.
For decades the Boy Scouts of America have kept detailed records about allegations of sexual abuse, but those documents have only been made publicly available over the last few years. The Boy Scouts recently released a statement saying that “We care deeply about all victims of child abuse and sincerely apologize to anyone who was harmed during their time in Scouting.” The Boy Scouts further went on to say that they have funded unlimited counseling for victims by a provider of their choice.
As an attorney that has worked on many sex abuse claims, I can tell you that counseling is very important. While there is certainly a financial aspect to sex abuse litigation, going to therapy for as long as needed is a critical piece of the puzzle in helping victims move forward with their lives and improving their well-being. According to Psychology Today, child sex abuse victims are more likely to suffer from mental health issues such as depression and PTSD, they are more likely to acquire HIV, and more likely to participate in criminal activity. Further, victims are more likely to suffer from alcohol and drug addiction.
When a sex abuse victim comes forward and starts working with a sex abuse lawyer, that victim would also typically seek the help and benefits of therapy at the same time.
If you are a Boy Scout sex abuse victim and you plan on pursuing a claim, it is better to seek out the advice of counsel as soon as possible. The statute of limitations for sex abuse lawsuits varies greatly from state to state. While some states have very long time limits to file a lawsuit and some states are even moving towards doing away with statutes of limitations for child sex abuse claims altogether, some states, unfortunately, have much shorter time limits for filing a lawsuit.
Another issue to be aware of is that the Boy Scouts are reportedly considering filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. This could affect the time that abuse survivors have to move forward with claims in a more expedient manner. With bankruptcy, organizations like the Boy Scouts could be able to delay litigation and may try to use the bankruptcy filing to limit the extent of their liability.
Unfortunately, child sex abuse is too common in the United States. According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, one out of every five girls and one out of every twenty boys become sex abuse victims. Further, children between the ages of 7 and 13 are the most vulnerable, and 3 out of every 4 sex abuse victims were abused by someone they knew well. Finally, minors who live with a single parent or a divorced parent, or live with parental discord, are at a higher risk for sexual abuse.
If you are a Boy Scout sex abuse victim, feel free to contact Abels & Annes, P.C. for a free confidential consultation. Our personal injury lawyers are available 24/7 at (855) 529-2442.