Letters to the Editor

Boy Scouts of America still a safe place for boys

Your coverage of the sexual abuse scandal at the Boy Scouts of America, “Boy Scouts could be hit with more sex abuse claims,” April 24, points out a very important statistic; there were five known victims in 2018 out of roughly 2.2 million youth members.

While any instance of sexual abuse is tragic, the recent reports (that more than twelve thousand cases of abuse over the past several decades have been uncovered) has created an unfounded hysteria that we often see whenever sex crimes are mentioned in the media.

Even if all 12,000 cases were committed just this past year, the percentage of scouts victimized would represent less than 1 percent.

According to the victim’s advocacy group Lauren’s Kids, one in five boys will be sexually abused before turning 18.

Therefore, statistically, the Boy Scouts is one of the safest places for children.

Much like the villainization of the Catholic Church and hysteria over persons required to register as sex offenders, the fear propagated by the media is unfounded.

Unfortunately, sexual abuse does occur in the scouts and in schools, but it occurs more frequently at the hands of family friends and relatives than it does at the hands of scout leaders, teachers, gymnastics coaches, priests or people on the registry.

The fact is anybody can sexually offend, and society needs to focus more on prevention when it comes to all individuals than persecution when it comes to any specific group.

Gail Colletta,

president of the Florida Action Committee (FAC).