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The Boy Scouts of America organization has proposed a package totaling $850 million to compensate sexual abuse victims, in one of the biggest single sexual assault settlements in American history.
The settlement proposed includes $600 million coming from local councils and $250 million that the Boy Scouts of America organization will pay into a trust fund. That fund will help cover the costs of caring for abuse survivors. The agreement was made with the Coalition of Abused Scouts for Justice, a group that helps victims of sexual abuse within BSA get legal help and compensation.
According to court documents, there are nearly 12 thousand victims represented by the coalition that hold claims against various scouting organizations, including the BSA. According to the Yahoo News, the proposal must still be approved by a judge and all victims. The compensation proposal comes over a year after the Boy Scouts of America initially filed for bankruptcy in February of last year.
At that time, there were thousands of people reporting sexual abuse incidents within the organizations and hundreds of lawsuits already being processed. All civil litigation was subsequently suspended when BSA filed for bankruptcy. The Boy Scouts of America made a statement last year saying that they filed for bankruptcy in order to “equitably compensate survivors who were harmed during their time in Scouting and continue to carry out Scouting’s mission for years to come” (ABC-57).
The Boy Scouts of America organization was created in 1910. Since then, over 130 million youth have been a part of the BSA program. All participants in the program take an oath to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, courteous, and more. The high standards for program participants makes the massive number of sexual abuse allegations and the lack of reporting from the organization much more shocking. Since the allegations have come to light, the Boy Scouts of America have put abuse prevention protocols in place, including having two registered adult leaders present at every meeting (Scouting). Victims are encouraged to come forward if an incident occurs.
ARTICLE: ABBY RANCOUR
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: NY DAILY NEWS