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Working with Kids

Counseling, inspiring and teaching kids.

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    • Indeed. However, large number of current Chapter 11 claimants live in states that have not yet adopted the Victims Rights Act. Without that statutory change, allowing a 'look back' suspension of retrospective statutes of limitations that currently bar such actions, whether civil or criminal, they have no legal recourse. Under the VRA, survivors would be able to pursue claims against their abuser, as well as any Local Councils and Chartering Organizations that do not participate in funding the Victims' Compensation Trust to gain future protection and release of past claims.  
    • The bankruptcy and related civil litigation does not preclude any victim from filing against the individual perpetrator. They just don't have as deep of a pocket to go after.
    • You are exactly on point. It seems people don't think much about that, instead focusing on the other two. It is an absolutely critical piece. Further, deterence by virtue of locking the doors and being on high alert isn't completely effective without repercussions. If someone does manage to pass through undetected and commit a crime of abuse, it must be met with the other side of deterence - grave consequences.  There is a reason you see surveillance cameras next to statements to the effect that, "Violators will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law." From my reading of massive amounts of data and history, down to reading 50 year-old individual reports from parents to Scout Leaders to Troops to Local Councils and then to local police, the failure to prosecute was equally as destructive as was inadequate vetting and training. Vetting only goes so far if someone has not been caught or credibly accused before they apply. Knowing that previous perpetrators have been aggressively prosecuted, sued and publicly disclosed, is a powerful weapon in combatting child abuse. Is it enough on its own? No. Is a multi-pronged approach to background check, train, enforce rigorous requirements of 2 adults person, and etc., coupled with prosecution a worthy adversary against would be perpetrators? Absolutely. A complete program to protect and deter has to include prosecution and public disclosure. And, it has to be swift and decisive. That requires empowering kids and youth to know what is right, wrong and how to have a voice. No easy task. In fact, it may be the most difficult thing in the moment, especially knowing that boys abused by men often don't report for years after the abuse. Over-reporting and false accusations are possible, but less likely in the context of child sexual abuse than other crimes. (Per the data I've reviewed.)  If I were in charge, I would include in the training process a summary of law enforcement and legal processes in the case of an accusation. Leaders should know what is involved, as should parents, to my thinking. Because most people 'know' what they know about law and the judicial system from what they see on television, it is neither accurate nor helpful in a real world situation. In fact, it's counterproductive. 
    • This is what I never realized until my last round of youth protection training.  I had always thought the predators were simply scout leaders who had that perversion and acted on it.  I never realized that many likely joined scouts with this intent in mind.  I still get chills (disgusted) when I realize this. I will say, this knowledge really helped me explain to others why we must rigorously enforce barriers to abuse.  I always thought there were two reasons (protecting youth from abuse and protecting adults from false charges).  However, there is a 3rd reason … scaring away any sexual predator from even joining scouts as they see they will not have an opportunity and would be quickly discovered. One final point, I will say there are definitely abusers who are parents.  I personally know 2 individuals that were sent to prison for child porn.  Both were parents.  In addition, my nephews ASM's husband, not involved in scouting, was caught sexually abusing two little girls he would baby sit.  He was a friend of my father and my dad was clearly in shock.  No one had a clue this could be happening.  I think these serve as a reminder to me that the barriers to abuse must be enforced as you never really know. My one concern is that we overcorrect.  I do not want any child abused; however, I also want youth to have opportunities I believe can mold them into strong adults.  I am concerned that over litigation could drive many youth organizations out of business.  If there are real gaps that could lead to abuse, they should be addressed.  What I would like to avoid is changes that do not necessarily make the program safer, but are simply added to prevent litigation.  
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