Recently the Oregon Supreme Court ordered the Boy Scouts of America to release their “perversion files.” The documents sited more than 1,000 men and some women accused of sexually abusing scouts between 1959 and 1985. Some of the accused were forced to resign, some moved on to volunteer for other youth organizations but none were reported by the Boy Scouts to the police.
How do we react to another cover-up of child sexual abuse by a prominent organization?
A University of Connecticut sociology professor Mary Bernstein was quoted as saying, “I think (the cases weren’t reported to police) because in part people didn’t understand it; it wasn’t in the public consciousness that this is something wrong and that this is a crime—I don’t think there was the language in which to frame it.”
I strongly disagree with Ms. Bernstein’s statement. Or perhaps I have more faith in the morals of our society. That is a revolting excuse for the unacceptable behavior of those who are supposed to protect children.
Rather than rant about my feelings about the Boy Scout organization or the reaction by some to excuse the cover up, I will take this opportunity to say one more time:
Adults need to be educated about child sexual abuse!
The only way we are going to Prevent child sexual abuse, rather than react after the fact, is through education. Resources are available dedicated to educating the public. Stop It Now! is one of many organizations. You can go to www.STOPITNOW.org for more information or call the Helpline at 1.888.PREVENT.
I am available to conduct workshops on preventing child sexual abuse. Combining materials from Stop it Now! along with my personal experience as a survivor of child sexual abuse participants learn the warning signs in adults who abuse children, the symptoms in children who are being abused and strategies for keeping children safe . You can contact me at email@example.com to speak to your group.
We are all responsible for protecting children. Do your part by seeking knowledge.
Together We Can Prevent Child Sexual Abuse. Education is the Key!
In closing I ask for prayers for those young boys, now men, who were victims of the accused Scout leaders. Theirs is a long journey to healing but they can heal.
I know, I have. Roberta