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With an approaching deadline next months for any sexual abuse lawsuits against Boy Scouts of America to be filed in the federal bankruptcy proceedings, a new report suggests there are likely more than 50,000 claims presented by former Scouts abused by sexual predators affiliated with the organization in prior decades.
Boy Scouts of America filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy earlier this year, as it faced a growing number of sexual abuse claims that alleged the organization failed to protect children from Scout Leaders and other volunteers with a history of abusing minors, and covered up decades of credible reports of problems.
Through the Boy Scouts bankruptcy proceedings, an abuse compensation fund will be established for individuals who were molested years or decades ago, but the Court established a deadline of November 16, 2020 for any claims to be presented.
According to the New York Post, a study is expected to be released this week by the sexual abuse advocacy group ChildUSA, which indicates that more than 50,000 claims are likely to be presented against Boy Scouts of America by the filing deadline.
Since February 2020, when the bankruptcy was filed, about 35,000 sexual abuse claims have already been filed, which the report indicates is three or four times more claims than the total number of Catholic Church abuse claims filed in similar circumstances.
The study uses anonymous data from 1,576 Boy Scout abuse claims, indicating that more than half of the incidents took place at Scout camps, more than 70% of victims say they were abused multiple times, and almost all have suffered life-long psychological problems, according to the Post report.
Other findings indicate that in more than half of the incidents, the abusers threatened their victims, nearly half groomed them with gifts ,and two-thirds gained the victim’s family’s trust. The vast majority of alleged abusers, 82%, were adults.
The survivors of Boy Scouts sexual abuse were about 12 years old on average at the time they molested.
Over the past few years, information has emerged that uncovered a long history of the Boy Scouts of America organization burying information about known threats to children by keeping secret “perversion files” on those considered to be sexual predators who had worked with the organization. Prior information suggested that between 1944 and 2016, there were 7,819 perpetrators nationwide who were either troop leaders or volunteers, believed to have abused at least 12,254 victims. However, it now appears that the scope of the problems in the Boy Scouts was much larger than initially thought.