Category: Sexual Abuse

KPMG’s Investigation of Scouts Canada

by John McKiggan

Recently, we covered CBC’s 2012 report on Scouts Canada that took place following an episode of The Fifth Estate. The investigation on The Fifth Estate sought to find answers to allegations that Scouts Canada had not been entirely honest about reporting each instance of sexual abuse, assault or misconduct occurring within their ranks to the authorities, as they had previously maintained for decades.

As a result, Scouts Canada then pledged to hand over previously-confidential reporting dossiers to auditing firm KPMG, who then launched an independent investigation to determine if (and when) Scouts Canada failed to report instances of sexual abuse that they were made aware of.

What follows is a brief summary of the result of KPMG’s investigation, which can viewed in full here.
Summary of KPMG Report
The 55-page report outlines KPMG’s investigative timeline, and goes into detail regarding the decision to launch the investigation, how the 486 cases were obtained from Scouts Canada (whether they were part of the initial hand-over or acquired later), and the processes through which these cases were analyzed to determine the level of action taken by Scouts Canada to address allegations of sexual abuse and assault from 1947 to 2011.

Scouts Canada and Their Failure to Report Sexual Abuse

by John McKiggan

Scouts Canada has come under fire in past years from critics and victims alike for the organization’s failure to report to the police instances and allegations of sexual abuse and assault by adult leaders against children. This apparent inaction is thought, by some, to be part of a systemic effort to protect child molesters within their ranks. Whether or not these claims are true has yet to be determined, but what has been determined by numerical data is that there has been some level of failure on the part of the Scouts Canada to report all instances of sexual abuse and assault to the authorities.

In October 2011, CBC first reported that Scouts Canada had signed confidentiality agreements out-of-court with more than a dozen child sex-abuse victims, and two months later, Scouts Canada issued a blanket apology to former scouts who were sexually assaulted by adult leaders as children.

In February 2012, Steve Kent, chief commissioner of Scouts Canada, acknowledged that Scouts Canada did not, in fact, report all allegations of sexual abuse and assault to police, despite decades of assurance that they had indeed done so, and handed off previously-confidential dossiers to auditing firm KPMG for investigation.
The KPMG Audit of Scouts Canada
A 2012 CBC article reports that Scouts Canada hired auditing firm KPMG to examine 486 cases from 1947 to 2011 in which adult scouting leaders were suspended or terminated on allegations of sexual abuse, misconduct or assault, following an investigation featured on CBC’s The Fifth Estate which examined how the organization has dealt with past instances of abuse within its ranks.

Sex Assault Acquittal Highlights Differences in Burden of Proof Between Criminal and Civil Claims

by John McKiggan

Burden of proof

A recent decision from the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia provides a clear example of the differences between the burden of proof in criminal charges as opposed to civil compensation claims and how that can affect victims of sexual assault.

Her Majesty the Queen v. A.L. is a decision of Justice J. Arnold. There is a publication ban on the identities of the parties so the summary of the information is, by necessity, somewhat vague.

Ghomeshi-Cosby Accusations Highlight Differences Between Canada-US Sex Assault Laws

by John McKiggan

Jian Ghomeshi criminal charges

There are few Canadians that haven’t heard about the sexual assault allegations being made against former CBC host Jian Ghomeshi. Two weeks ago Ghomeshi was charged with four counts of sexual assault and one count of physical assault. To date nine women have come forward stating they were victims of sexual or physical assault by Ghomeshi. Some of the allegations date back a decade or more.

Bill Cosby facing sex assault allegations but no criminal charges

Employers Knowledge of Sexual Abuse may be a Double Edged Sword: Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Saint John’s v. Guardian Insurance

by John McKiggan

Today the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear an appeal from a decision of the Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal: Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Saint John’s v. Guardian Insurance

The case is interesting to those of us who represent survivors of childhood of sexual abuse because it illustrates the challenges in recovering compensation for survivors.

In many cases the abuser has little or no assets or is dead. Often a survivor’s only hope of receiving some measure of compensation for their injuries is by pursuing the institution that employed the abuser.

Will a Public Database of Pedophiles Protect Children? The answer may surprise you.

by John McKiggan

The federal government recently introduced legislation to create a public database of child sex offenders.

The bill increases the sentences for child sex crimes and requires sex offenders to provide information when they travel and also facilitates information sharing between various law enforcement agencies.

As an advocate for survivors of childhood abuse I support legislation increasing the penalties for child sex offences.

Estabrooks Sexual Abuse Survivors Plan Class Action Against City of Saint John

by John McKiggan

When I was little, one of the first things my parents taught me was that there are some people you can trust when you need help; your parents, your teachers, and above all, the police. This message was reinforced by our schools and public safety announcements on television.

Unfortunately, for dozens of kids who grew up in the poor south end of Saint John, the local police officer was the last person in the world you could trust.

Predator policeman

Are Pedophiles born that way?

by John McKiggan

As a sexual abuse claims lawyer I have learned more than I want to about the deviancies that cause adults to prey on children. New research coming out of the University of Toronto suggests that Pedophilia may be the result of predisposed brain deficiencies, meaning they were born ‘wired’ that way.

Disconnection

As this video explains, for two years, researchers scanned the brains of pedophilic men using Functional MRI machines. The researchers discovered that, when compared to other men, pedophilic men had significantly less tissue in two regions of the brain. These tissue areas are responsible for connecting other brain regions. The researchers conclude:

Elder Abuse – How Do We Protect our Vulnerable Loved Ones?

by John McKiggan

What is Elder Abuse?

Elder abuse, much like spousal or child abuse, occurs when there is a vulnerable person who is abused or mistreated by those who are in a position of power or trust. In the case of elder abuse the vulnerable person is a senior who may be abused in any number of ways; physically, or financially. The abuse can be inflicted by a spouse, child or other family member, by caregivers, service providers, or any other person in a position of trust.

The U.S. National Center on Elder Abuse defines 6 major types of Elder Abuse:

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