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  • Sexual Abuse

    I was in the Scouts from 11, and at 13 I met a leader who was 10 years older than me.
    He noticed that I was vulnerable already and he started grooming me. He gave me a webcam and we’d chat every night online. The abuse moved in-person, in empty car parks after school. Eventually, he asked me to stay at his house one night a week. The second time I stayed over he put on a 18 rated movie that scared the hell out of me. I froze at the first rape scene. He paused the movie but I still couldn’t move. He grabbed my shoulders, held me down and anally raped me. When he noticed he told me to stop crying, saying that he knew I liked it really.
    I have two vivid memories of later that night. The first lying there staring at the orange streetlight against the wall desperately trying not to be sick. The next being in the bathroom, trying to clean up the blood with toilet roll and wondering how I was going to hide it at school the next day if it didn’t stop. I kept going back until I was over 15.

    I didn’t tell anyone about my scout leader for 10 years. I eventually realised he was a risk to kids and always had been, and he was still a leader. So I reported him to the police. He was arrested and bailed, but then he killed himself before the police could charge him. I have the police investigation log that says had he not killed himself they had enough evidence to have a reasonably high chance of conviction. But he was never actually convicted, so The Scout Association essentially just act like he didn’t do anything wrong. They said that I wasn’t their problem or priority because I’m no longer a member of Scouting but he was. They also told the people who were supporting me that they should be careful that I didn’t accuse them of anything because I was “vulnerable and damaged”. That was said by one of their safeguarding officers, despite that safeguarding officer having never met me. That safeguarding officer insinuated that I would make a false accusation when she had absolutely no basis for it.

    The Scout Association didn’t tell anyone in the local community what he’d been accused of, there was a uniformed guard of honour at his funeral, and they didn’t attempt to check if he’d done it to anyone else. When I went public after the inquest into his death, so that parents in the local area would put two and two together and check that their kids were ok, I got a lot of pretty nasty public online abuse linked to the article from members of the Scouts. The most memorable being a trustee of my old Scout Group telling me that I was a liar and was going to burn in Hell. The Scout Association did nothing to stop them, despite the fact that these were comments on the newspaper’s social media post of the article. So it was viewable by anyone in the local community, including children and young people he could have also abused.

    I doubt I’m the only one he abused, but I doubt that anyone else will ever come forward. They’ll have now seen that the local Scouting community won’t have their backs based on the reaction to me speaking out. I wouldn’t have had to do that if The Scout Association had taken their duty of care seriously and checked that he hadn’t abused other kids.