The British public has recently been informed of a huge number of cases of sexual abuse perpetrated within scouting organisations in the UK over the last 50 years. A shocking revelation for many, though it has been openly discussed and litigated in the US for over a decade. Why do we still think we are different?
Our late friend Kelly Clark dedicated his legal career to exposing the Boy Scouts of America for concealing decades of abuse against children in its care. His litigation and campaign work eventually forced the Boy Scouts to release what would later be known as the 'perversion files': the once confidential files detailing allegations of sexual abuse relating to over 1,200 scout masters and volunteers within the organisation. The level of cover-up could never have been predicted, even for an American audience which had at this point grown somewhat accustomed to heinous revelations about once-trusted national institutions.
The ground in England has not yet been broken and we at AO Advocates believe that the recent revelations of the sexual abuse within the Scouts and associated organisations are sadly only the tip of the iceberg. We know so well the damage that child sexual abuse can cause, and it is so compounded by institutions covering up allegations and divesting themselves of responsibility for their actions. We note that the UK Scouts organisation has stated that it has 'never used gagging orders to silence those who have been abused' (link). We welcome this policy wholeheartedly and hope that the voices of those who have suffered abuse at the hands of the Scouts will be heard.
If you or somebody you know has been affected by abuse within the Scouts or an associated organisation, please call AO Advocates on 0203 080 3911 to confidentially discuss the potential of bringing a claim for compensation.