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Stories

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 6

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  • Pre 2014

    My late husband was abused by a Scout leader in the 1970s. This contributed to the damage done to his emotional wellbeing, and he eventually took his own life in 2006, leaving 2 teenage boys to cope with the loss of their father.

  • Sexual Abuse

    I started Scouts from Cubs in 1982. It was boys only then. The Scout Leader had very wandering hands, especially when he would take us swimming, which he did outside of regular meeting nights. I thought for years it was my imagination until I mentioned it years later to a friend who was in the same Troop at the same time. I then spoke to my younger brother who was also in the Troop 3 1/2 years later than me and my friend. Both my friend and brother confirmed he had had wandering hands with them also.
    The Scout Leader suddenly left about 1991 (I think). Some parents asked why and the DC and our GSL both said it wasn’t for “those sort of reasons”. Both the old DC and GSL passed-away years ago so he’s the only one who knows.

  • Sexual Abuse

    I was sexually assaulted by two separate leaders. The first, an ex RAF officer who photographed me and others in sexually aggressive poses. The second, the following leader, raped me as I slept in a tent shared with him. Both assaults were brought to the police. The first committed suicide. The second went to prison. I heard nothing from the Scout Troop and I left at this point. This was 52 years ago. I received no counselling or help.

  • Sexual Abuse

    Nearly 80 years ago, I joined a well respected scout group in *****, to which a number of my schoolmates belonged. The scoutmaster there would invite boys into his office where he would stroke them, and would go as far with them as they allowed. I managed to avoid this experience myself, but many of my friends told me what had happened to them. Eventually, one of the more senior scouts complained to the group scout leader, and the scoutmaster was gone. There was no publicity, only the members of the troop knew what had happened, and the whole thing was played right down. As far as I am aware, there was no police action taken against the scoutmaster, as he greeted me on a station platform one evening a few weeks later as I was returning home from school.

  • Sexual Abuse

    Cub scouts

    My brother joined the local cub scout group 2 years before me.

    I believe that I joined around some months before my 8th birthday
    I was welcomed into the troop by the Cub Scout leader, “Akela”. We met in a hall adjacent to the Church.

    At meetings we did work towards obtaining badges, learning to tie knots, cooking and physical activities. Played out in the field that was part of the Vicarage garden. We learned to make fires, cook and general field crafts.

    I was encouraged to take part in church parades.

    House

    My grooming started almost as soon as I’d started at the cubs

    I went to Akela’s house after church parade as he had arranged with my Mother that he would drop me home. My brother didn’t always attend as he had a number of other out of school activities. I don’t remember anything happening the first time there but the second or third I started noticing pictures laying around the place of naked boys and men. At first it was just one or two but soon became more. Then men with and boys showing their genitalia, some with erections.
    On one visit the Akela suggested that I take my shorts off as he wanted to show me something and I did so. He rubbed some cream onto, and then inserted a finger into, my anus. He also dropped his trousers and started masturbating and ejaculated over my bottom. I was told this is what special scouts do, to keep it our secret, and If I did I would get a present. So I started being given books as a reward.
    After a couple of times of doing this he had me perform oral sex on him. On one occasion he ejaculated in my mouth . I remember spitting it out and he gave me some sweets to take the taste away. I was told I had done very well and he promised to buy me another present and the following week at the cub meeting he gave me a couple more books from the Enid Blyton Famous Five series.
    Arkela also liked to kiss me, lick and suck me, normally with his finger in my anus. He had a long tongue

    I went to the house quite a few times after church parade

    He was always very friendly, quite touchy and hands on.
    Often told me I was special.

    Swimming

    My parents worked on Saturdays and didn’t swim so Akela offered to teach me. We would go to to one of three local swimming pools.
    My mother told me to do what I was told and to behave myself, be polite and say please and thank you.

    There was always lots of touching in the pool, one hand under my chest, the other on or close to my groin when learning front crawl or breast stroke. Hands on back and bottom when doing back stroke.

    Akela was a very good swimmer and could swim 2 lengths of the pool underwater. He did teach me to swim

    Showers were open communal ones, Akela like to help me wash in them and for us to change in one cubicle, would expose himself by dropping towel. Used to dry his genitals a lot giving himself an erection and ask me to suck his penis. He would have some Cola Cubes or Pineapple Chunks with him and he would give them to me if I ‘swallowed”. I didn’t always succeed but always got the sweets plus another book.
    He would often run his hand over my body, especially my bottom, to check I was dry before I got dressed. Would watch me putting my underwear on.

    Camping

    Went to a number of local campsites.

    We were taught how to erect tents and field toilets, cooking over fires and building a field oven. Use of sheath knife. Bivouac construction and very basic survival techniques. Rope swings, Other physical activities, races etc.

    If I remember correctly the first camp I attended was just a weekend one. It must have been close to home as it didn’t take long to get there. As usual, I was told by my mother to be on my best behaviour and to do as I was told.
    This ended up with me being in Akela’s tent that first evening with my shorts and pants down by my knees and him masturbating and then ejaculating over my bottom whilst he fingered my anus. He seemed to enjoy me turning around to see what he was doing and would smile encouragingly at me. Again I was offered a present and was given another Famous Five book.

    Cinema

    Akela took me and sometimes my brother to the cinema. These visits would be on a Saturday morning. When it was just me he liked me to wear shorts and would put his hand on my leg and caress me. He liked me to put my hand on his leg. He usually had a bulge in his trousers.

    After one of these mornings we went to his house.I removed my clothes and he rubbed cream into me and then took off his trousers and pants. He started off by having me suck him and then he sucked me whilst fingering my anus. He then had me turn around and kneel on a low seat of some sort, possibly a pouffe. Instead of masturbating he moved really close to me and started pressing the end of his penis into my anus. He told he it would be just like his finger but a bit bigger. It seemed to take a long time, then, finally he was inside me and he slowly pushed himself in further. It did hurt but he told me the pain would soon go.He started moving in and out of me and ejaculated inside me. After he had pulled out of me he used a flannel to clean my anus and bum cheeks. When I got dressed he put some cotton wool in my pants in case I leaked. He told me to throw the cotton wool away when I got home.
    This was the first of many times that he had penetrative sex with me.
    As I had done so well I was rewarded with a mini transistor radio that had a single earphone.
    I used to listen to that radio as I went to sleep at night. Akela would give me batteries for it every month.

    On one such trip to his house he was very keen to show me a film. He had a projector and screen set up in the front room and the curtains closed. He suggested we both take our clothes off and I sat on his lap. His penis was sticking up between my legs. When the film started it showed the two of us performing sex acts on one another and him having anal sex with me. He played with me whilst we were watching and I had to play with him. Again the cream but this time I had to sit on his penis and again it took a while before he slid into me. I then had to bounce up and down on him. He was very strong and lifted me up and down easily. More cotton wool and another book.
    I guess we went to the house every 2nd to 3rd Saturday. We always had some sort of sex, a combination of me masturbating him, oral or anal.

    On one of the visits I was given a recorder, something I wanted as I was learning to play at school

    He had a camera that he used to take photos of me posing, usually with no trousers on, sometimes totally naked. Often asked to bend over after he had penetrated me. I never saw any of these.

    Camping again

    At one of the camps I received a wooden shield with the scout badge on it. It was probably 5-6 inches tall. I was judged to have been the best cub on the camp. This was a 7-8 day event. I had both oral and anal sex with him 3 or 4 times over the course of the camp. After the anal sex he always liked to clean me. He liked to rub some sort of cream (possibly Savlon) into me to stop me getting sore. In all I believe I attended 5 or 6 camps having missed out on a couple when I was ill.

    Trips

    We had numerous trips out in his car.

    We went to the coast a few times, always had to change into swimming trunks. Used to have to sit in the back of the car and Akela liked me to sit on his lap so he could watch me as I changed. Again, when wet, he would help me dry myself paying particular attention to my bottom and genitals.

    We went to various local beauty spots. These were supposed to be field trips to learn about flora and fauna and wildlife but always ended up with us having sex.

    Akela used to do a packed lunch for us. He always give me plenty to drink and would watch me when I had to urinate. He would often stand next to me and urinate at the same time to show his penis off. Would make a big play of shaking it. Sometimes he had me suck the drips off, always quick with a present and always more praise. We had sex (normally oral but sometimes had to masturbate him) at the above places on numerous occasions.

    He liked me to pull my trousers down and play with myself. He would also get his penis out for me to play with whilst he was driving.

    I guess I became a willing participant because I knew no better. I also liked getting all the attention and treats.
    My mother told me that he liked to treat me as he had no children of his own and I was lucky to be treated this way.

    Meetings

    I went to cub meeting every week. I managed to earn badges very easily. My mother was always commenting on how many I had sewn onto the arms of my top. Nothing intimate happened at these meetings apart from the usual touchy feely “hands on” .

    Anal sex became a regular part of our meetings. This would take place at “his” house, at some of the camps I attended and often before we went swimming.
    The reason for the latter was that it would give me time to ‘leak out’ before I got home. There were a few times I was subjected to anal sex before and oral afterwards.

    Our sexual activities were curtailed when I contracted Meningitis and was admitted to the local children’s hospital. I underwent an emergency lumber puncture . I have no idea how long I was in hospital but upon release I was confined to my home and spent most of my days in bed.

    My mother must have given Akela a key to the house as he would visit me some days. I would wake up to him either fondling my penis, his hand inside my pyjamas and a couple of times with the covers pulled back, my PJs undone and him sucking me. He alway masturbated, trying to encourage me to play with him but I was very weak and not always able to do what he wanted. During this timeI don’t remember having anal sex with him but did perform oral.
    I was not aware at this time that my mother was still working daytimes but my father had changed to night shifts so that there was always one of my parents at home. It appears that my father would be asleep in the bedroom next door when Akela came to visit.

    It took some months but eventually I returned to school, the weather was cold and wet but I was not allowed out to play during the breaks as I was still convalescing. I was also unable to attend scout meetings so Akela would visit me, sometimes offering to look after me on a Saturday morning so my parents could still work. We would do whatever he felt we should do. My brother being 2 years older than me would go out to visit school friends. The visits carried on until I was well enough to resume swimming etc.

    The books kept coming and eventually I had the full set of Famous Five so he then started giving me the Secret Seven ones. I also received colouring books and pencils, jigsaws and if a birthday or Christmas, money. Usually a 10 shilling note.

    I would see Akela most Sundays as my mother signed me up to sing in the church choir. He would either be singing or up the front of the church with the Vicar and Curate.

    Girls

    By the time I was about 11 I was spending time with other children that lived in my road or very close to me. One such girl was ******. At weekends we often played in woods that were over the road from where I lived. They backed onto a Hospital which housed people with mental problems. We played in the ponds and streams, climbed trees and made dens (my bivouac building skill came in useful).
    Over the next 5-6 years we became close friends and we spent a lot of time in one another’s company.

    I saw very little of Akela as I approached my 12th birthday, one reason being that I had already progressed up into the Scouts. My brother was also a member so we would walk to and from meetings together, attend church parades together and also camps.

    I turned 12 at the end of May and my brother turned 14 the following month
    Then came the fateful day in July 1971. My family and I were preparing to go to a Sumer fate at the local park.
    Unfortunately my brother was killed by a car driver whilst riding my pushbike back from our local shops.
    This event tore our family apart.
    After the funeral I was sent off to stay with an aunt that lived in Kent and then onto another aunt and uncle that lived near reading. I had a couple of months off school. When I returned home things were not the same , neither was my family. Akela made contact and came round to see me to ask if I wanted to go out somewhere. but under the circumstances I didn’t want to go with him. I had re engaged with ****** and was happy in her company. I think that girl kept me sane.

    Upon my return I left the scout group I had been attending and joined another group further away. It was run by a lovely, if not a little eccentric Vicar, and it is because of him that I’ve ended up in Cornwall.

    He was a Cornishman and when he finally left Kent, he returned to Cornwall.

    I’d left school to start work and also left the scouts at the same time, but the Vicar kept in touch with me and invited me to go for a holiday in Cornwall. I used to camp in his back garden. Over the years I feel in love with the place and eventually moved my family there

    I was 18 years old when I finally confided in a fellow motorcyclist and drinking buddy about what had happened to me. **** was a gay guy and had made a bit of a pass at me. I told him it wasn’t my thing but by the end of the evening and many pints later I had told all. He convinced me to go to the police and the following evening after work he went with me to the local Police station. I gave a brief description of my complaint to the desk sergeant but instead of believing me he told me to F*** off, stop waisting police time and take my long haired queer mate with me. In hindsight I should have tried another station but I guess I just thought I wouldn’t be listened to especially against an upstanding member of the church and also a scout leader. I did no more to my shame. Had I have done it may have stopped someone else being harmed.

    It was a surprise that Akela turned up at my house sometime in the late 1990s. I can’t remember the exact year but it was sometime before the eclipse. I do recall my mother being surprised that he had visited me and asking me what he wanted. What surprised me more was that she must have given him my address because very few people knew where I had moved to, only close family members and as she was still a member of the church, then it must have been her.

    I asked my father if he had been contacted by Akela but he said no.

    I did invite him into my conservatory and my wife brought us a cup of tea and left us to talk. He stayed for about an hour and we talked in general about what I had done with my life. Before he left he got to the point of the visit, which was to apologise for what he had done to me, how he sincerely regretted it and that it shouldn’t have happened. I think I was in shock and could neither accept his apology, or his reason for what he’d done. I was led to believe that he had been abused as a child and he’d seen it as a normal way of life to perpetuate the abuse. I did ask him if he had abused anyone else but he refused to answer, a clear indiction to me that he had. I also asked what had happened to the photos and film of us but he said he didn’t know. Other people had them. I guess that they are still out there somewhere.

    Some weeks later my mother phoned me up. She was very upset and told me Akela had committed suicide. She asked me again what his visit had been about but I just said he was in the area and wanted to say hello.
    To this day I believe that she knew what he was doing although I never asked her and she never said anything but it was she that suggested I change to a new scout group and had already found one I could join.

    Consequences

    To be honest I have been greatly upset over the years by what happened to me. I’ve tried many times to bury the memories but they were always bubbling under the surface. I have struggled with my relationships with my children and grandchildren especially on the male side of things. I have worried about the intimacy of being near them, nappy changing, toilet training, bathing and helping them get dressed.

    I have become very conscious of keeping my mouth clean having 2 electric toothbrushes, 3 different types of toothpaste and mouthwash in my bathroom cabinet.

    I also have an aversion to pubic hair as Akela was quite hairy below. I never liked the feeling of hair in my mouth. I have had sex with many women but could not engage in oral sex with them unless they were neatly trimmed or shaved.

    I have taught all of my children and some of my grandchildren to swim but had them hold onto my arm or around my neck. It felt safer that way.

    Over the last few years many painful memories have resurfaced about being used by Akela, my failed relationships, severe bouts of drinking and depression, none of which I’ve sought counselling or treatment for. I have lived with ME/CFS since I was 26. Im beginning to doubt that that is the right diagnosis and possibly PTSD would be more accurate.

    I was relieved and even happy when I heard that Akela was dead. He committed suicide. Best thing that could happen to him. It was the end of an unsavoury chapter in my life but could not and will not erase my memories of what he did to me.

    I contacted Bolt Burden Kemp, a firm of solicitors that specialise in sexual abuse cases perpetrated by scout leaders. My solicitor was very kind and understanding, offering advice and support as well as drafting legal paperwork to try and take action against the Scout Association. Unfortunately, as the Police had failed to keep any records of my original complaint, there was no corroborating evidence and as the suspect was dead there was little chance of legal proceedings against the Association succeeding. I wasn’t looking to take action for financial reasons (as I have enough money to live on) but to fire a shot across the bows of the Scout Association that they have to take positive action to stop the abuse of any more children.

    I didn’t allow any of my children to join the scouts or guides but fortunately they never asked to. I did make the effort to ensure that their childhoods were varied and interesting. I do have grandchildren of my own and I try to be as caring as I can be but I struggle, as I have done in all my relationships. Its only in the last few years that I have been able to talk to a few good friends about what I went through. Only one of my children knows that something happened to me but not the details.

    Im trying to arrange to see a therapist to discuss what happened and hopefully it will take away some of the guilt that I have felt, but it won’t erase the memories

    If you have read the above account because you have been abused then please realise that you are not alone, that there are people that have suffered the same as you and maybe by putting your “Story” on here will help to stop the abuse that has been going on for over half a century.

    Please don’t judge me and think I’m anti scouts, I’m not. I had a great time at the second group that I joined and the Vicar that ran it remained a friend unto the time of his death.

    Thank you for reading

  • Sexual Abuse

    My story is actually an observation about the lack of safeguarding in the Scouts. I worked with a man who was a high-level Scout Leader, and was known at work as a lecherous, ‘creepy’ person. We both worked in supporting vulnerable adults at the time, and he went away to a Scout camping week and on his return, showed me photographs he had taken on his phone of young girls at the event, sitting around the camp fire and in various activities. The photos were inappropriately angled (upskirting) and I found this utterly revolting. I told him that he should not only delete the pictures but also that he should not be taking pictures of the young people anyway – it’s not appropriate. I have been away on many trips with vulnerable people, and never ever have I seen anyone taking pictures of the people we worked with using their own camera. We had a camera that belonged to the organisation, and it would be handed over to the Manager at the end of the trip, and the pictures would be checked and deleted / edited as necessary by her and myself. This chap saw no problem with having these pictures on his phone and made several comments about how lovely these girls looked. I felt this shows a clear lack of understanding of basic safeguarding and child protection on the part of the Scouts – especially as this chap was a ‘Leader’.

  • Sexual Abuse

    My story happened in the 1970’s.

    I attended cubs as child and was abused by a so called leader on the way back from a camping weekend. He gave me a shiny red radio. He took me home in his own car and stopped on he way back in a layby on country road and there he talked to me about “fetching the milk” up and he removed my lower clothing to interfere with me and then got his penis out and tried to gt me to suck him.

    He told me to keep all of this secret between us .

    He then took me home and had the audacity to come in to have a cup of tea with my mother and to suggest that he might take me to the zoo some time.

     

    Subsdequently I was terrified of this happening again and was constantly on the look out for him whenever I was walking down the street. Luckily it never happened again as he died soon after. But never the less it has had a profoundly damaging affect on my life.

     

    I didn’t tell anybody at the time. But when I reached 16 and entered the 6th form, some of us students were having an adolescant conversation about sex and I blurted out me experience thinking it was relevant. But even that was a mistake because it just becamne a joke that I was taunted with on a daily basis during sixth form.

  • Adult Leader

    I never really wanted to join the scouts but my older brother was in it and I think my mum thought it would be good for my confidence to join too. We were a single parent family, I was shy and awkward as a ten year old. The scout leader was in his 60s.

    Looking back I think he recognised how vulnerable I was. My mum must have thought it was good for me to have a strong “father figure” and he gave the impression of being this.

    One weekend he was taking a “business trip” and asked my mum if I wanted to come along. At the time I suppose I thought it was exciting to be going anywhere outside my home town. In a hotel room he abused me. He performed oral sex on me and made me touch his penis. He fell asleep cuddling and stroking me.

    It only happened that one time. I didn’t tell anyone about it until I was in my twenties and even then I only told my partner (now husband).

    Last year I suddenly started to experience panic attacks and anxiety all related to the event. I reached out to a group specialising in this type of abuse and am currently on a list awaiting a counsellor.

    The leader in question committed suicide. I don’t know exactly what happened but I think other allegations of abuse were directed towards him. Despite vague attempts by me to research it, I’ve never been able to find any information on this.

  • Physical Abuse

    I joined the Scouts after some peer pressure saying it was something fun to do in the evenings. I wasn’t, and am still not, a particularly sociable person but I gave in to the peer pressure and attended. I never really liked going. Regularly I would be shouted at or treated like rubbish by the so called leaders. They used to enjoy getting us to play a game which involved throwing tennis balls at each other to see how hard we could hit each other – not great in itself but worse when some of the leaders would join in throwing tennis balls at us. The losers of the game would have to line up, bend over and have more tennis balls thrown at our bums. Looking back at these evenings fills me with anger and disappointment.

  • Sexual Abuse

    After the local scout leader kissed me, he told me it would be ok if we had had sex because he had had a vasectomy. I was 14. He was my Dad’s age so in his 40’s