SOME 92,700 people have reported being victims of sexual abuse within the Boy Scouts of America (Scouts BSA), the victims’ lawyers reported.
They had advanced at the weekend that there were 82,000 victims, but by the time the deadline came on Monday, November 16, to file the lawsuit in a bankruptcy court in Delaware, USA, they had risen to 92,700.
The organization declared bankruptcy this year in an attempt to avoid the lawsuits.
Paul Mones, a lawyer who has been involved in cases against Scouts BSA for nearly two decades, commented although the number of victims is staggering, it could still only reflect a fraction of the true number.
The avalanche of lawsuits represents a monumental task for the bankruptcy case, with which Scouts BSA intends to put in place a compensation fund for their victims.
Scouts BSA claims to have assets worth $1 billion, but they also have a network of local branches which own hundreds of campsites and other properties across the country, where young people are trained in exploring skills and ethical values.
In a statement, which included their apology, Scouts BSA said that it is “devastated by the number of lives affected by past abuse”.
According to internal document, cases of abuse were reported in the first decades of the Boys Scouts of America’s existence.
The Boys Scouts of America was founded in 1910 and has taught some 130 million children their values of “patriotism, bravery and independence”.
Today, it has about 2.2 million members aged between seven and 21, and more than one million volunteers. Girls and transsexual children have been accepted since 2017 and the name was changed to Scouts BSA in February 2019.
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