Victims Must Come First As ‘Disturbing’ Scout Association Abuse Reports Emerge

Legal Specialists Call For Support For Those Affected

11.12.2014

Specialist lawyers representing abuse victims in their battle for justice regarding historic claims against the Scout Association have called for the focus to remain on ensuring those affected can get the support they need, as more concerns regarding the problems emerge.

Irwin Mitchell’s specialist Abuse team is representing a number of people who are seeking answers and justice regarding the physical and psychological trauma they are continuing to endure as a result of alleged abuse by scoutmasters.

Now, after the Scout Association stated it was “deeply sorry” regarding the problems and Elfyn Llwyd, MP for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, demanded a public inquiry into the handling of abuse complaints, the legal experts are calling for the primary focus to remain on ensuring victims get access to the support they require.

Expert Opinion
The revelations which have emerged in relation to the scout movement are deeply disturbing and we have been contacted by a number of people seeking help and support as they seek to put the problems behind them.

"Through our experience we have often found abusers are people who are in a position of trust such as priests, teachers or community leaders.

"While the high-profile cases of abuse identified in recent years have encouraged many victims of abuse to come forward safe in the knowledge their voices will be heard, we should not forget that the majority of survivors were not mistreated by celebrities but by adults in close proximity and in their families or local community.

"The fundamental priority must be ensuring those affected by these issues continue to receive the support they need in order to at least take steps towards coming to terms with the crimes committed against them. As a result, it is clear that access to counselling and other key support services is absolutely paramount.

"Further down the line, attention then of course must ultimately turn to whether lessons can be learned from cases like these, which in turn will ensure more can be done to safeguard children from abuse or neglect."
Tracey Storey, Partner