Sex abuse cases in scouting organisations are common. They involve alleged abuse of a child by an adult Scout leader or, less often, a fellow Scout. As this sort of abuse falls under institutional abuse,Gerard Malouf and Partners’ expert personal injury lawyers investigate these cases in which a victim was harmed and failed by the scouting organisation.
History of sexual abuse in Scouts Australia
Sexual abuse in general, but especially of children, has been a taboo and little talked about subject for a long time. However, in 1947, one leading psychiatrist – Dr. John McGeorge – spoke openly about how sexual predators are often in “a position of trust such as a schoolteacher or scoutmaster,” according to the Prosecution Project.
The increasingly prevalent revelations of sexual abuse in Scouts Australia gave way to changes to reporting procedures in the 2000s. Now, immediate reporting of criminal abuse to the police and other authorities is required, according to the Scouts Australia website.
A high profile case of sexual abuse in a scouting organisation
Steven Larkins is a well-known sexual predator who was an adult leader in Scouts Australia in the 1990s. In addition to Scouts Australia, the Royal Commission of Institutional Child Sex Abuse investigated four other organisations that failed to protect children and respond to allegations against Larkins.
Larkins went to jail for his offences as well as his possession of child pornography and compensation has been awarded to victims.
A new Commonwealth Scheme is being planned that will not only award money (a maximum payment of $150,00) to sexual abuse survivors but will also require psychological counselling
Making a sex abuse claim
If you have been abused as a Scout or know a loved one who has been, contact a child welfare authority.
From there, you will fill out a form that requires details of the sexual abuse that took place and on the dates it occurred. In addition, you will need to provide reports by health workers, medical professionals or counsellors as proof of physical or psychological damage as a result of suffering sexual abuse as a child.
Your first step in all cases should be to report your complaint to the police for investigation. Then contact the sexual assault experts at Gerard Malouf & Partners who will help prepare the required documents that are submitted to the institution who has responsibility for compensation to you.
GMP regularly sees clients who experienced abuse a long time ago and fear that they won’t be able to get compensation. However, the redress scheme and Royal Commission are changing that.
We are very attentive to the sensitive nature of discussing sex abuse and have a lot of experience with it. Contact us today if you would like more information about filing a claim against a scouting organisation in Australia.