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What I Learned from Advising the Boy Scouts of America During Their Abuse Crisis

An attorney’s advice for organizations on preventing and responding to child sexual abuse.

What I Learned from Advising the Boy Scouts of America During Their Abuse Crisis

Churches, ministries, and youth-serving organizations today must recognize that child sexual abuse is a critical issue. The prevalence rate of people who are victims of child sexual abuse is estimated to range from 1 in 12 to 1 in 7 (8–14%) for men and from 1 in 6 to 1 in 2 (17–51%) for women. Estimates of abuse within organizations and institutions are not available, but media, lawsuits, and anecdotal information suggest it is significantly higher. Child sexual abuse is now the number one reason that churches are sued.

I know that reality only too well. For 11 years, I was the Deputy General Counsel and then General Counsel for the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). I saw first-hand the cases of child sexual abuse and how devastating they can be on children, families, and even organizations. Organizations and institutions have historically focused on protecting children in their care ...

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