After issuing a blanket apology to former Scouts who were sexually abused and claiming that every single allegation of sexual misconduct was reported to authorities, Scouts Canada has now admitted that some allegations of sexual misconduct were not investigated and not reported to police as required by law and Scouts Canada’s own policies.
Last year Scouts Canada said they have requested KPMG to conduct an “independent review” of 350 past allegations of suspected or alleged sexual abuse. What isn’t clear is if the 350 is the number of suspected victims or the number of suspected abusers.
Tip of the Iceberg
The fact that there are 350 past victims or abusers should be a huge concern to Scouts Canada. As a sexual abuse lawyer, I have been representing survivors of childhood sexual abuse for more than 20 years. I have represented hundreds of survivors.
Over 20 years and hundreds of cases I have only had one case where there was a single victim!
There is abundent scientific literature that shows sexual offenders have a very high chance of re-offending.
For example, in one study of recidivism rates of pedophiles (how often pedophile re-offend) the researchers found: “… recidivism rates were 22.8%, 33.9%, and 45.6% for sexual, violent, and any reoffence, respectively.”
Simply put, the survivors who have come forward to report that they were abused are likely just the tip of the iceberg.
Whether the 350 number is an estimate of the number of past victims or the number of suspected abusers, it means that there could be hundreds of victims who have not yet reported the abuse they suffered.
Secrecy Protects the Abusers
Sexual abuse is a crime of secrecy. Victims suffer in silence, sometimes for decades, before being able to come forward and disclose what happened to them.