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  • Sexual Abuse

    This is a hard story to tell, from when I was an Explorer between 2006 and 2008.
    I was aged between 16 and 18 at the time and the leader was in their early 30s.

    There was no Facebook or Instagram back then, MySpace was what eveyone was on – but MSN messaging was still king. You would log on each evening on the shared family computer and chat to your friends from school, or like me, Explorers. Many of us had our Explorer leader on chat too – and we didn’t think anything strange of it.

    But I, like othersin my unit was groomed by the leader.

    At the time I was sexually assaulted in 2008 I had turned 18. I felt at the time and for a long time after that it was a mistake that I had made. Due to the technicality I was ‘over 18’ I thought it was something he was allowed to do and that it wasn’t something I could report.

    How did it start? From the age of 16 I used to attend weekly kayaking pool sessions which were additional to the regular Explorer Night. We used the local pool but Scouts were the only people there. Adults and young people would share communal changing rooms, – and this leader would find satisfaction in banter and body shaming young people.

    To this day I am not sure why but our parents would often drop us off at his house so we could help load up and transport group kit from his garage. Coming from a Scouting family it was just accepted this was an OK thing to do, but several male members of our unit were being groomed. I don’t fully know the extent as we don’t even talk about it anymore.

    I was sexually assaulted once in the back of his range rover style car as after turning 18 as that’s where he told us would be sleeping as we were not allowed to share the accommodation building with the under 18s. There were 4 of us sleeping in the car and I woke up to find him with his hands down my trousers. I got out of the car at 5am and hid in the toilets until eveyone else got up for breakfast.

    I was assaulted a few years later after a night out back in our home town which ended up back at their house.

    This leader is no longer involved in Scouting, I don’t know the circumstances they left in as people don’t talk about it and it didn’t involve me, and I had moved away for University.

    This leader was insecure with their own sexuality and would prey on the sexuality of gay young people who were not out to their parents and used this to manipulate them.