US - Victims group doubts Boy Scouts abuse "reforms"
According to today's NY Times, Boy Scout officials are ramping up their public relations efforts on child sexual abuse before the release of more damning documents about child sex crimes and cover-ups in the weeks ahead. (Story here).
At best, it's reckless to assume that recently-enacted abuse policies in scouting are making any impact. At worst, such claims are disingenuous.
It is important to remember that in the early 1990s virtually every US Catholic diocese similarly tried to reassure the public about predators by touting similar policies, programs and procedures. But of course, there is vast difference between printed words and actual behavior.
The new youth protection policies the Scouts are talking up look good. But remember how new many of these new policies actually are:
- Their mandatory reporting policy became effective in 2010.
- Youth Protection Training only became required in 2010.
- Background checks for volunteers only became policy in 2008.
We encourage Scouting families to hold out for real change, not superficial public relations moves. When it comes to kids' safety, we urge Scouting families to be skeptical, not trusting, and vigilant, not complacent.
SNAP will be Representing Clergy Abuse Survivors in Rome!
We are taking the fight to Rome and are standing up for all survivors on a world stage! From February 19-25, Board President Tim Lennon, Seattle Leader Mary Dispenza, Los Angeles Leader Esther Hatfield Miller and Austin Leader Carol Midboe will be traveling to Rome for Pope Francis' Papal Abuse Summit.
If you are a member of the media and looking to get in touch with these survivors while in Rome, click here for our media advisory and contact information. If you are interested in connecting with a survivor in the US from your area of coverage, please contact one of the SNAP leaders in the US listed below:
- East Coast/DC: Becky Ianni (SNAPvirginia@cox.net, 703-801-6044)
- Midwest/Chicago: Zach Hiner (firstname.lastname@example.org, 517-974-9009)
- Midwest/St. Louis: David Clohessy (email@example.com, 314314-566-9790)
- West Coast / San Francisco: Melanie Sakoda (firstname.lastname@example.org, 925-708-6175)
If you are looking to help spread the word about the importance of this summit and for survivors to be heard, add your voice to the conversation on social media using the hashtag #PBC2019. Be sure to follow SNAP on twitter and Facebook and share our posts, add your comments, and let the world know that we are watching!Learn More