If you suffered from childhood sexual abuse while in Boy Scouts, know that you’re not alone.
In mid-2019, there were 12,000+ known victims reported. That number has since grown, but many victims have yet to come forward in an attempt to push aside painful memories from their past.
One victim, quoted in TIME, expressed his concerns about the accelerated timeline to file claims. He worries the November 16, 2020 deadline may rush survivors who aren’t ready to share their stories.
In an interview he says:
“Candidly, there are way more of us out there that probably won’t come forward because the wave of dread and anxiety is just too overwhelming for a lot of people…I was 30 years old before I told anyone what happened to me—and I’m super open-minded and didn’t feel like I was going to be shamed. It’s just the pain you get when you open the door, because the second you do it, it kind of floods back in.”
While each survivor comes to terms with their abuse differently, many have found that acknowledging what happened to them is helpful to the healing process.
Below, we outline common challenges for adult survivors, plus ways to come to terms with your abuse, so that you can get the closure you deserve.
Acknowledge the Abuse
It’s a painful process to face the reality that you were abused as a child. It’s even more painful to acknowledge that the person who abused you was someone you trusted. As a result, you may have trouble trusting others, like the parent who suggested you join scouts in the first place.
But unless victims process their thoughts and feelings surrounding the abuse, it can be difficult for them to move past it.
One way to acknowledge the abuse is to file a proof of claims form against BSA, regardless of when the alleged abuse occurred. The proof of claims form is the formal document all victims must submit, detailing key information about their abuse in the bankruptcy court.
In filing a claim, you can receive compensation for the losses you’ve faced. This helps victims start fresh when it comes to careers, relationships, and more.
Talk About the Abuse
As a victim of childhood sexual abuse, it’s likely you’ve been living with these painful memories for a long time. Up until now, some survivors may have kept the abuse a secret. For these reasons and many others, the effects of sexual abuse may be felt many years later. Remember, there’s no set timeline for recovering from your experience.
While you may not feel comfortable talking about your abuse with a family member or friend, you can talk about your case with a trusted advisor, like an attorney or social worker.
Following the BSA bankruptcy filing in February 2020, trial law firm Hurley McKenna & Mertz partnered with experienced social workers to ensure the process of recounting the abuse is as painless as possible for the firm’s clients.
Because victims of childhood sexual abuse commonly experience flashbacks, it’s important for those entrusted with the case to be considerate of your thoughts and feelings.
By talking about the abuse with an attorney, you can take action into your own hands. You can hold others accountable for their wrongdoings. In doing so, you get to share your story with attorneys who will help to simplify the process of filing claims.
Just sharing your story can have a profound impact on the way you’re able to process what happened to you as a child. In turn, this can help you emotionally and financially recover.
Ready to File a Claim Against Boy Scouts of America?
If you have not yet filed a sexual abuse claim against the BSA, you must act fast. The Bankruptcy Court deadline to file a claim is November 16, 2020.
We understand taking action isn’t easy, but the sooner you can come forward, the better. The experts at Hurley McKenna & Mertz have represented more than 1,400 former Boy Scouts who are victims of sexual abuse.
Contact us today. Your consultation is absolutely free. It’s only after we secure a settlement for you that we receive any form of compensation.