Boy Scouts of America Filing for Bankruptcy
In what it calls an effort to ensure funds to pay for abuse counseling for its victims, the Boy Scouts of America has filed for bankruptcy protection.
According to the story in the New York Times, the organization released an open letter promising to compensate victims "equitably."
In the letter, Jim Turley, National Chair of the Boy Scouts, said that the bankruptcy would include setting up a trust for victims.
I want you to know that we believe you, we believe in compensating you, and we have programs in place to pay for counseling for you and your family. Jim Turley - BSA
Secret files at the BSA headquarters in Texas (which were revealed in 2012) list allegations that incriminate over 8,000 abusers within the ranks of the organization. Since the revelation of those files, hundreds of other victims have stepped forward with claims of abuse not previously reported.
It sounds like the BSA is doing the right thing, but: filing for bankruptcy will likely interrupt any current lawsuits and will limit the amount of time anyone can come forward with allegations of abuse at the hands of the Boy Scouts.
Under bankruptcy proceedings, organizations are able to halt lawsuits and then get a deadline under which people must file claims. - NYT
The Scouts' abuse scandal mirrors another world-wide scandal: abuse by clergy in the church. Some dioceses in the Catholic Church have filed for bankruptcy protection to mitigate the amount paid out in compensation to its victims and to limit victims' rights by setting deadlines for reporting abuse.
Founded in 1910, the BSA has seen over 110 million boys (and, more recently, girls) grow up through its programs. It is impossible to know how many of those children were victims at the hands of the organization's leaders.
A lawyer for some of the victims of the Boy Scouts is encouraging anyone who may have been abused at the hands of a scout leader to come forward with their stories. Tim Kosnoff said, “If you’ve ever considered coming forward, now is the time.