Boy Scout Confidential Files Reveal Patterns of Abuse

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At the law offices of Gordon, Thomas and Honeywell in downtown Seattle, an entire wall was devoted to files of Boy Scout volunteers who have been kicked out since the 1940s. Paralegal Bob McFadden replaces one of the file boxes. Photo by Mike Siegel / The Seattle Times

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has come under fire as its “Confidential Files” – a blacklist of adults banned from scouting for sexual abuse or molestation -- have come to light. The files, submitted as evidence in lawsuits under court order, show the BSA banned about 5,000 people from 1947 through 2004.

Sexual abuse scandals within other youth-service oriented programs show similar patterns of behavior, including workers dismissing victims, hiding abuse from the public, putting too much faith in adult colleagues and organizations failing to educate staff about abuse.

As the problem becomes more public because of scandals such as the Penn State and Catholic Church child sexual-abuse scandals, it has become more apparent that these patterns of behavior are similar among those who mishandle the problem. For the full story via Youth Today, click here.

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