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Civil Rights

Scouting-Abuse Claims Require Immediate Attention

A child enrolls in Boy Scouts of America and proudly moves through the ranks. Each craft, each outing builds his character, and he’s so pleased with his progress—until the unimaginable happens. Whether overnight or perhaps over time, the abuse or molestation committed by a scout leader comes to light, as it did in this recent Chillicothe boy scout-molestation news.

Implications of Scouting Abuse

Molestation’s significant negative impacts include emotional disturbances such as guilt, blame, and shame. Sexual abuse especially devastates children when the abuser has been entrusted with their care, and it can affect mental and physical health as well as academic performance and interpersonal relationships. Effects from abuse on children as they age vary widely and can be unpredictable. Isolation can linger for years, and low self-esteem or sexual intimacy issues often extend into adult life.

Assistance for Scout Abuse

Abuse victims often feel hopeless and might assume it’s too late to find help. While damaging moments cannot be reversed, individuals who were abused by a Scout leader may be able to hold Boy Scouts of America accountable today. Boy Scouts of America has admitted it has a social and moral responsibility to equitably compensate all victims who were abused during their time in scouting. Compensation can empower victims to get the help they need, including counseling for the past and present effects of scouting abuse. 

Boy Scouts of America has filed for bankruptcy protection and created a trust fund for resolving abuse claims. However, this filing increases the urgency for victims to follow through with claims.

What does this mean for someone who experienced scouting abuse or molestation?

First, a person should not assume that a statute of limitations will prevent their claim. Through the trust fund process, claims can be filed for abuse that occurred decades ago. If a scout leader molested you or someone you love, you may be eligible.

Second, claims must be submitted by the filing deadline of November 16, 2020. Do not wait until that day to gather documentation—the sooner the process is started, the better. Once the deadline passes, it may be difficult or impossible to pursue abuse claims against BSA.

Why You Need Cooper Elliott for Scouting-Abuse Claims

Cooper Elliott has, over the years, successfully represented victims of sexual abuse while achieving the best possible outcome for our clients. We care about each client as an individual and fight to help our clients access support and needed resources. Whether dealing with the current or long-term impacts of abuse, we know that at the heart of every case, you need partners who support you every step of the way.

Connect with us. We’re here to help.


The outcome of any client’s case will depend on the particular legal and factual circumstances of the case.