Chicago Boy Scouts Sex Abuse Attorney

The Boy Scouts of America has instilled the values of responsible citizenship in generations of boys through its outdoor activities and civic engagement. Unfortunately, the organization has also enabled sex abuse of many boys and young men by allowing pedophiles to enter and remain in its ranks. This abuse has damaged lives and caused parents to lose faith in a once venerable institution.

The attorneys of Hale & Monico work with survivors of sexual abuse and their parents to hold organizations such as the Boy Scouts responsible for their negligent and reckless behavior. If you or a loved one were sexually abused by the Boy Scouts, we want to discuss your legal options with you.

The “Perversion Files” and What They Mean For You

Not long after the Boy Scouts were founded in 1910, victims began alleging sexual abuse at the hands of scout leaders. The Scouts began keeping secret records about the allegations, identifying the volunteers who had been accused of misconduct. The organization used these files to attempt to quietly oust predators from the Scouts or to prevent them from joining.

A 2012 court order forced the Boy Scouts to release thousands of pages of these records, and they became known as the Perversion Files. The documents make it clear that the Scouts were aware that abuse was happening in numerous chapters across the country. However, they also show that the organization covered up the abuse by failing to report allegations to law enforcement. Even when specific adult leaders were repeatedly identified as pedophiles, the authorities were not notified.

The actions of the Boy Scouts allowed thousands of boys and young men to be preyed upon and victimized by adult volunteers and scout leaders. Worse, sexual predators who could have been stopped were allowed to move to other chapters, where they victimized more boys.

Signs of Boy Scouts Sex Abuse

Many young boys who are victimized by sex predators are unable to articulate what happened. Or they may be afraid to alert a parent or other adult. Cases of Boy Scouts abuse can go back years and sometimes decades, meaning the victims are now adults. But even adults who were abused as children can have trouble remembering details or knowing for sure that they were abused.

Every victim of sexual abuse responds differently, and at different stages in their lives. But these are some general warning signs that a child has been sexually abused, or that an adult suffered such abuse at a younger age:

  • Sudden changes in mood or personality, including unexplained outbursts
  • Social isolation and withdrawal from activities the child once enjoyed
  • Poor performance in school, including discipline problems
  • Bedwetting, nightmares, and sudden fear of sleeping in the dark or alone
  • Regressive behaviors, like thumb-sucking in older children
  • Substance or drug abuse in adults
  • Suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts

Not all warning signs necessarily mean that sexual abuse has occurred, but the presence of multiple ones is a strong indicator. If you suspect your child has been sexually abused, alert authorities and contact an experienced sexual abuse civil litigation attorney.

Boy Scouts Sex Abuse Damages

Children who are sexually abused, and adults who were previously abused, typically need professional treatment to address the consequences of their abuse. This may mean therapy, counseling, prescription medications, and more. If the child or adult suffers from substance abuse, or has made suicide attempts, he may need hospitalization or involuntary commitment to a mental health facility.

These treatments can go on for years, and sometimes the rest of the victim’s life. Many former Boy Scouts who have been unable to grapple with what occurred have had their conditions to substantially worsen over time. Victims who were violently or repeatedly abused will face severe trauma and especially difficult, painful recoveries. Treating a victim of sexual abuse can be expensive, and much more so in extreme cases.

The parents and victims should not be financially responsible for these treatments. Because the Boy Scouts went to such great lengths to cover up abuse, the organization should be compelled to compensate its victims. The civil litigation process can be lengthy and difficult, forcing a victim to relive the nightmare of the abuse. Our compassionate team understands the sensitive nature of sexual abuse, and we will demand reasonable damages to account for your injuries. Those damages may include these and more:

  • Medical bills and related expenses to cover any sort of hospitalization and treatment for physical injuries, including in cases where the abuse led to a suicide attempt or other self-harm
  • Therapy and mental health care costs, past, present, and future, to treat the victim for anxiety, depression, and other disorders
  • Costs for prescription drug medications to help treat the victim
  • Damages for pain and suffering and mental and emotional distress

The outcome of a civil case is never guaranteed, and some cases settle without ever reaching the courtroom. At the same time, no amount of compensation can ever undo the pain suffered by the victim. But damages do help compensate victims for their financial losses and help punish organizations such as the Boy Scouts who enabled children to be abused.

Contact A Chicago Boy Scouts Sex Abuse Attorney Today

It’s a good idea to secure legal representation as soon as you learn of sexual abuse by the Boy Scouts. This is true even if you are an adult and were victimized years ago. A statute of limitations may limit your time to file for civil relief. Also, the more time that passes, the harder it becomes to identify witnesses with relevant information, remember details, and build a successful case. Let Hale & Monico help. Contact our office today to discuss your case and get the compensation you deserve.