US - Victims back call for Congressional probe into Scouts' abuse/cover up
Two attorneys who represent child sex abuse victims are calling on Congress to audit the Boy Scouts after more than 20,000 documents have been released focusing on the more than 1,200 of the Scout “ineligible volunteers.”
We at SNAP echo this call. According to US Code Chapter 309 (http://uscode.house.gov/download/pls/36C309.txt), the BSA is a congressionally chartered organization, which means their activities can fall under the purview of the government. We agree with attorneys Kelly Clark and Paul Mones that Congress has ample reason to investigate the Scouts.
Child sex abuse and cover-ups thrive in largely private and male-dominate, institutions with few or no external checks and balances, like churches and the Scouts. Because of this, outside oversight is critical. That's why Congressional audits and hearings are so important here.
Such action is particularly crucial because Scout executives have, in most of these cases, successfully "run out the clock" on these heinous crimes, enabling defense lawyers to exploit archaic, predator-friendly statutes of limitations to prevent victims from having their day in court, civil or criminal. Scout secrecy has protected predators and endangered kids and hurt victims, by blocking their access to justice. So some other external pressure must be brought to bear here.
Adding to the reasons as to why these external hearings need to take place is because only external pressure has allowed the information that we know have about abuse in the BSA to become public. Scout officials have not voluntarily released documents; they have been forced to or were released by others. Scout officials did not reform their policies regarding abuse on their own; they did so because of public pressure. This pattern of refusing to act until the outcry becomes loud enough convinces us that the BSA will never be able to audit or investigate themselves, and we must have the truth from elsewhere.
We applaud these attorneys for insisting on a congressional investigation, and we add our voice to theirs.
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.