Our Commitment to Victims
For years, the BSA has offered to fund in-person counseling for any current or former Scout or member of their family by a provider of their choice. The BSA recognized, however, that not all victims are ready to seek this type of support, so we began a dialog with one survivor to learn how the BSA could better support victims.
That discussion led to a new, landmark five-year partnership with 1in6, a leading organization for male survivors of sexual abuse.
Through this partnership, 1in6 has greatly expanded its 24/7 web-based helpline chat service that enables victims to connect instantly with a trained advocate. Starting in March, 1in6 will also more than double the number of weekly online support groups offered for men who were sexually abused.
The 1in6 services are independent of BSA, anonymous and free to the user. Information shared through these services will be kept strictly confidential by 1in6.
To learn more or access these services, visit www.1in6.org/BSA.
Our Commitment to be Part of the Broader Solution
The BSA strongly supports the following efforts to help keep children safe nationwide, including:
National Volunteer Screening Database for All Youth-Serving Organizations
The BSA advocates for holistic measures to help keep children safe, including the development and utilization of a national database, under the auspices of a federal entity, that all youth-serving organizations contribute to and utilize to screen volunteers. Our goal is for schools, athletic clubs, faith-based youth groups, Scouting and other organizations to use a common database, so that people removed from any one institution cannot join another one down the street, in a different state, or across the country.
Individuals who should not work with youth don’t always have a criminal background and therefore could pass a criminal background check. A shared volunteer screening database would enable organizations to add individuals to the database who have been removed from their program for alleged inappropriate conduct – even if the individuals have not been arrested or convicted – to prevent potential abusers from joining a different organization.
CDC Guidelines for All Youth-Serving Organizations
We advocated for funding of the CDC’s proposed study to update guidelines that organizations should consider when determining how to keep children safe in their programs.
Strengthening Mandatory Reporting Laws
We support legislation that will strengthen mandatory reporting requirements for organizations and other trusted adults that serve youth.
Requiring that Sex Offenders Serve Full Sentences
We support efforts to ensure that anyone who commits sexual abuse is held accountable. Accordingly, we support the elimination of criminal statutes of limitations for sexual abuse. We also believe it is imperative that convicted abusers serve their full criminal sentences and comply with any post-release requirements to protect children and reduce recidivism.