My abuse started whilst I was in the cubs in the mid to late 80’s and continued over a period of several years into the Scouts. I attended a group in a village, near to a small city and other village groups would often do joint activities at camps and days out etc…
My abuser wasn’t a leader at my group but having recently relocated to the area he visited my group and I was introduced to him by one of my leaders.
The reason I mention this is that I have had such difficulty in seeking any justice as a consequence, the lack of accountability and safeguarding, in hindsight is inexcusable. This man manipulated the situation to get me alone with him, giving me lifts back from activities, taking me from group and camps etc whilst covering his tracks; this was a man who had already been in scouting for years at this point, who would go on to be convicted of raping several boys over a long period of time once he had progressed into a position of authority in the service structure. My abuse progressed over time until he raped my at an activity day at his home group. The effect this has had on me is devastating, the fact it was sporadic and I never knew when he would appear has deeply effected my sense of security. The lack of awareness or basic common sense of other leaders that allowed me to be alone with this man who had no valid reason to be taking me has made me find it almost impossible to trust people, to think they were complicit, whilst in likelihood were just negligent. The leader from my group who made the introduction and facilitated his access to me has just refused to talk to the police or my solicitors, they live round the corner from my parents, every time I go there I am triggered. Being singled out for special treatment (an excuse used to get me chosen to go with him to events etc) left me afraid to excel or try much at anything. The physical abuse has caused issues but the psychological damage, the fear and insecurity and mistrust have meant I’ve struggled through life feeling like I have one arm tied behind my back, or like I’m trying to walk with my legs tied together. It’s hard to make an analogy that does it justice to be honest…
I have had total breakdowns at the times in my life that should have been joyous; when my children were born, when I should have been living life I was a failure to my family, my partners, my children as I was in hospital, through suicide attempts and mental illness. Hurting everyone close to me by my emotional absence throughout my adult life.
I have reported to the police twice, neither time with any success, have attempted civil cases to get money for therapy without success. I have lived in hell for much of my adult life carrying the shame and feelings of uselessness, unworthiness and disgust that belong to my abuser, but which I can’t seem to free myself of.
In my opinion the scouting association was set up by a man with an unhealthy interest in children and has always been staffed by a large percentage of people with nefarious motives. I’ve had no apologies or acceptance of what happened to me, quite the opposite in fact. I carry on simply because I don’t want to hurt my family by killing my self but it gets harder every year.
The challenges I’ve faced recently with this second police report have been that the SA have failed to keep or provide any photos etc of the perpetrator, once he was convicted in the early 2000’s they’ve scrubbed him from their records, failed to provide a single photo to show my parents for identification purposes, my parents saw this man drop me home one time, and queried with my leader why he’d dropped me home instead of her as arranged, she stated he was visiting and offered.
I will go as far as to say they have failed utterly, knowing the man was convicted, to keep and provide photos and other information that would help previous victims seeking convictions.
There’s so much I’m angry about, not least that I have no voice, that the SA are more interested in brushing things under the rug then helping survivors seek justice in my informed opinion.
I hope this website can raise awareness of the extent of abuse within the SA historically. If parents knew the sheer scale of the amount of paedophiles that have been active in the movement I think they’d think twice about sending their kids there. The SA seems to have a respected public image, endorsed by high profile people and Royals. I am highly sceptical that our voices will be heard or taken seriously. And that’s the final insult to a survivor, being ignored, marginalised and having the problem minimised.
I tell my story for the souls I’ve encountered in the psychiatric wards, prison, addiction and recovery, the survivors and those who took their lives all for the perverted needs of these abusers. Abusers appear in many places, are devious and manipulative by nature but hiding in plain sight in the SA is inexcusable to me. Dressing up in uniform to boss kids around, the pride and authority of the leader’s hierarchy that allows this to flourish is so blatant and ridiculous to me I just absolutely despair.