BSA Files for Bankruptcy, SNAP Reacts
Following in the footsteps of other organizations with similar legacies of sexual abuse and secrecy, including Roman Catholic dioceses and U.S.A. Gymnastics, the Boy Scouts of America today filed for bankruptcy protection. Our biggest concern is that this bankruptcy will prevent survivors from having the opportunity to hold the scouts accountable in court, as well as to learn what was known about their abuser, when it was known, and who knew it.
In recent years, an expert hired by the Boy Scouts reported that there were nearly 8,000 “perpetrators” in the group's so-called "perversion files." Last year, a group of attorneys began seeking out people who were abused as scouts and fielded nearly 2,000 complaints, including one in every state. This is surely only the tip of the iceberg given the sheer number of acknowledged abusers. One lawyer believes that there may be as many as 100,000 victims.
Reportedly, the national organization has approximately $1.4 billion in assets. We hope the court will carefully examine the financial assets presented as available to make restitution to survivors, as we know that Catholic dioceses that sought Chapter 11 protection reportedly shielded at least $2 billion in assets to limit abuse payouts.
We also hope that the bankruptcy court will elect to reveal information on the perpetrators and the cover up of abuse in addition to allocating money for settlements . Without this information becoming public, children will remain at risk from these "hidden predators."
CONTACT: Dan McNevin, SNAP Board Member ([email protected], 415-341-6417), Melanie Sakoda, SNAP Survivor Support Coordinator ([email protected], 925-708-6175), Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (zhiner@[email protected], 517-974-9009)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)