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Read and try and understand other people’s experiences and stories from abuse in the Scouts. If there’s anything here that is triggering, know that there are people who can help. If you feel inspired or confident enough, please share your story.


75 stories submitted so far.

Page 5

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  • Sexual Abuse

    My family were heavily involved in Scouting at a local level wherever we lived (Dad was in the army so we moved every few years). I always felt safe in Scouting environments, particularly because Mum and Dad would know everyone around and I of course trusted everyone in uniform and respected their position (military upbringing).

    In 1977 we were at a big Scouting gathering at a permanent national Scouting camp site and activity centre of some significance (can’t name it due my respect for the rules of this site) – I would have been a Cub of about 8. There was a man there who was some sort of facilities manager on site (not that I’d have known that sort of job title back then). My parents were both leaders with our cub/scout troop and I was there partly as a member of the troop and partly as the son of leaders – so a ‘lucky’ and likely favoured position within the troop. I don’t know how this guy became particularly friendly with my parents but I seem to recall there was a decent amount of friendly interaction between them. They obviously trusted him and it seems likely they felt we were all in a safe space. At some stage the combination of my status and his apparent closeness to my parents led to me being allowed to visit him in his office, which I seem to recall was on the edge of an area of shops, workshops and other buildings around a square. Probably central to the facility but it’s a long time ago and I was young. Others more familiar with the place may have more idea. I would kind of like to have some of the blanks filled in to help with some closure but not sure this will actually be possible. My mind is restless where the details are missing, if that makes any sense.

    I seem to recall the first visit or two were uneventful in the context of the abuse. He seemed happy for me to hang around for a bit, get some sweets from a stash he kept in his desk drawer or fizzy pop from his fridge. I remember him giving me one present early on, which was a really cool badge/pennant for my camp blanket that he’d had (amongst loads more) on his wall. I was very proud of that! I don’t know how many times in total I visited him but on one of these occasions we went to a store room, where he held me (sort of cuddling me in a reassuring, friendly way to start with). Then he put his hand in my pants and felt my penis, all the while talking to me in a calming voice about how good I was and this would be our little secret and he shouldn’t really be doing it and he might get into trouble if people knew and I didn’t want to get him into trouble did I and I might actually get myself into trouble as well?

    I know it’s not unusual for abuse victims to struggle to understand their own actions but I went back a number of other occasions (again – don’t know how many). I can remember asking my parents if I could go to see him because I think I enjoyed an important adult showing interest in an 8 year old me. I don’t know if this was more before the abuse started or if that continued but I did return, sometimes just to his office to ‘bother him’ as he called it, get gifts of sweets and fill some spare time. Only sometimes would he ‘need’ to check out or fetch something from the store-room.

    After that first time when he touched me, on subsequent occasions he got me to touch him as well. He said it would be interesting for me to know what a grown up willy would feel like compared with my own. It seems odd now, though of course I didn’t know any better back then but he never seemed particularly aroused. It just felt like he had a bigger part than me, like his hands or body or head were bigger. Funny how that child-like way of thinking works.

    I remember feeling as if the abuse wasn’t really doing any harm and while I felt uncomfortable about it, he admitted to me he shouldn’t really be doing it and he did have a nice selection of sweets and pop for me to pick from when I visited.

    I didn’t tell anyone about it. I think I was worried I would get into trouble and that by hiding it from my parents I was essentially lying to them and they would be cross with me. Then as I got older it felt like I’d be struggling to get people to believe me because I didn’t say anything at the time and as I went back ‘for more’, maybe I was to blame. My parents have always been loving, supportive and I now know there’s no way they’d have let this man get away with what he’d done if they could possibly help it. As the years have gone by I’ve wondered if I should have at least told them, but as I’ve got older I’ve thought about how much it would hurt them to know they’d put me in harm’s way.

    I do feel a lot of guilt that by keeping quiet I probably allowed this man to abuse others. I have made some half-hearted attempts at searching for any news stories that might have indicated at some point he’d been found out but as I don’t know his name or likely age it’s unlikely I’d be able to narrow it down. I think this is to try to get some closure – some idea that someone braver than me spoke out and got the guy convicted. I don’t know what else I need to do – the experience comes to mind at all sorts of odd times, sometimes often sometimes now, and I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel about it.

    I can’t comment on the willingness or ability of the Scouting movement to properly safe-guard children in it’s care. I’m one man with one experience during a fortnight’s camping event. I do though see the other stories on here and realise I wasn’t alone – unfortunately lots of organisations are being found wanting in this area – churches/education/Scouting – anywhere lots of young people are left to the care of people society seem to inherently trust.

    Please – anyone who has suffered – reach out. By telling 2 or 3 people over my life in whom I have absolute trust, I have managed to at least make some sense of what happened. I know many other people have been more traumatised by their experiences – physically and mentally. I’m lucky mine was non-invasive abuse and I’ve coped (I think) well over the years.

    I fully support the aims and ethos of this organisation and thank you for the platform to post about my experience to help me in my slow journey towards, one day I hope, fuller closure.

  • Sexual Abuse

    I joined the Venture scouts with a friend in 1983 it seemed like a good place to go for me as my mother had just died.
    The scout leader was always very close to all the girl ventures so I thought nothing of it when he started drawing closer to me. I now realise he was grooming me. He used to ring me, come round my house and be very close to me if we went on any activities.
    One evening as he dropped me off at home he kissed me. It carried on from there and I ended up in a secret relationship with him for a few years.
    It took years for me to realise it was not my fault and he should never have touched me. He was 28 years older than me.

  • Sexual Abuse

    I was 11/12 when i joined the scouts. A venture scout began the grooming process almost immediately. Sexual abuse began after about a year and continued for at least 2 years

  • Sexual Abuse

    In 1951 at 11 years of age I was a member of the school scout troop and went away to summer camp.
    My experience of sex was limited to asking a friend “When you say a naughty word does your penis sometimes get hard?”
    My first night in a tent was quite exciting with older boys telling “dirty” jokes and showing some nude pictures and playing with themselves and getting me hard too.
    Great sex education as I was taught how to wank and toss off others.
    It seemed great fun and rather naughty.
    One of the most friendly boys asked me if I would like to be his “bum boy”. He made it sound very special.
    The following afternoon he invited me for an adventure following the stream passing the camp. We passed through overgrowing vegetation until reaching a private spot. “This is good for a bum boy” he said. “You can take your pants down and show me your bum” This seemed very naughty indeed especially when he asked me to bend over and stroked me. It gave me a little stiffy and he asked if I wanted to see his. We played with each other and he asked me if I was ready for the next part of the game. Of course I was and he asked me to bend over again. “Can you feel my cock in your butt – I am going to put it further” He then tried to insert his large cock into my anus. It hurt and would not go in but he was able to “shoot” warm “spunk” over me and praised me for being his bum boy. ” It’s our secret” he said “and you must not tell anyone.

    [Redacted comment referring to abuse not related to The Scout Association]

    About ten years ago I was responsible for developing the Child Safety Policy for our local sports club. It must be extremely difficult for an organisation such as the Scouts to provide the same level of protection for overnight camping

  • Sexual Abuse

    Many years ago… maybe 1970? I would have been about 12? A small town Scout Group. A Scout Leader’s son persuaded/groomed about 5 or 6 of us to play strip poker in the scout hut ‘after hours’. It was not at the time threatening, but in retrospect I did not like it and wanted to be out of the situation – but I wanted to ‘belong’ too. It was for the gratification of the leader’s son who was the abuser. I do not know if it went further with other boys; when the game was over I dressed and left. I never returned to Scouts having also had an unwanted homosexual approach from at least one other older scout. As an individual I was able to deal with this and put it down to experience, but I was never comfortable in the group thereafter. Again looking back, I now recognise an atmosphere of intangible sexual ‘threat’ lay behind some activities.

  • Sexual Abuse

    I was shown pornographic photos by my scout leader and he tried to wank me off. I was 14 years old.

  • Grooming

    I was groomed and abused by an older scout, who I am prepared to name, when I was between 11 and 13 years old. The grooming included multiple visits to my home and while away on camping trips. The abuse occurred in several locations, including being forced to share a tent with him and another senior scout. There was no apparent concern from scout leaders who never once asked if I was comfortable in this situation.

    [Comment from Moderators: we will not encourage anyone to name individuals on this site, recommend you contact the police or the NSPCC as official reporting channels]

  • Sexual Abuse

    I was a shy lad of 11 yrs in the 1950 s , when I was persuaded to join the scouts. I absolutely loved it ! The highlight was the annual summer camp. I got on with all the other boys , and liked and respected the senior scouts and chief scout.
    I will always remember those times with with pleasure and great affection , apart from one incident involving a Rover scout , who entered our tent one night and abused two of the other boys. It became obvious to me that this was not the first time this had happened. I lay scrunched up in my sleeping bag, resisting his offers to indulge , and being shy , I did not tell anyone of the incident.
    In fact , this is the first time I have told anyone. I have never let this incident ruin my love of scouting as a young boy , nor will I.

  • Sexual Abuse

    In around 1972-74, I was in the Cubs and was 8/9 years old. We went swimming often and the Arkela called me into a cubicle on numerous occasions to sit on his knee. He was naked, I had my trunks on, and he jiggled his legs whilst talking to me. Nothing else happened but I think about it very often and have nightmares about what could have happened to me or others. My older brother who was in the Scouts said he often invited them to his house to drink home made sherry but he said nothing else happened to him. I did contact the Scouts about 10 years ago to find out what the fellas name was but they kept fobbing me off and I never found out.

  • Sexual Abuse

    I was in the cubs around 1978 when I was 10-12 yrs old I think. On day one I was told to meet one of the leaders on the stage behind a curtain. He asked me to lower my trousers and underwear and asked me to tell him how it felt.

    On another occasion we were on a visit outside. He took me to one side around a corner and asked me to drop my trousers. He bit my penis, that is all I remember as I have tried to forget. Nothing else happened, I think I left shortly after and never told anyone.

    I hadn’t thought about it until I saw the BBC article which led me here.