Child Abuse in the Scouts, Girl Guides & Youth Groups

Children who attend youth groups such as the Scouts or Girl Guides do so because they want to learn skills, be adventurous and have fun, and many people hold life-long, treasured and happy memories from their days in such groups.

Shamefully though, some adults have used their positions within such organisations to prey on young people and inflict abuse on those who were supposed to be in their care.

Unfortunately, this unimaginable sexual and physical abuse leads to many suffering in silence for years and being psychologically and emotionally damaged.

This type of traumatic abuse has not just been exclusive to the Scouts Association, with other organisations such as Cubs, Girl Guides and youth groups also failing to properly protect children.

If you or a loved one has suffered abuse from a scout leader, adult helper, volunteer or person running a youth group, the perpetrator has committed a crime and abused their position of trust. Our specialist child abuse claims solicitors can help you receive justice and compensation for your suffering.

Understandably, survivors of abuse can find it emotionally difficult to come forward. But even if the incidents took place decades ago, we may be able to make a successful case and hold the perpetrator to account.

Our lawyers are specially trained in this area and support both men and women who have been abused during childhood.

Whilst no amount of money can heal events from the past, the abuse survivors we help often find it enables them to access professional counselling or support whenever they need it. It can also bring a degree of closure.

At Hudgell Solicitors, we provide access to justice without any financial risks to you by funding most cases on a ‘No win, no fee’ basis. Get in touch with our experienced child abuse solicitors for free and confidential legal advice

Our experts

Malcolm Johnson

Senior Solicitor

Samantha Thompson

Claims Handler, Civil Liberties

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Who would the claim be against?

If you or a loved one suffered abuse whilst a member of the Scout Association or a youth group, it may be possible to bring a claim against the abuser, the Association or both.

Should the perpetrator have sufficient assets to warrant lodging a claim against them, a case can be brought against that person.

The Scout Association and similar youth groups can also be held liable for the wrongdoing of their employees, leaders, assistants and volunteers.

If it can be proven that they knew about the abuse – or should have known about it – and they failed to act, they can also be liable for negligence. For example, if they failed to make checks on an employee or any volunteers, or if they failed to act on allegations about abuse which were raised. Claims of this nature are usually paid for by their insurance company.

You may also be able to seek compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA), a fund which was set up by the Government and paid from taxes, which compensates innocent victims of crime.

Enlist our expertise and we will advise you about the best way to successfully achieve justice and recover the maximum compensation.

Reporting incidents of child abuse

Sexual, physical and emotional child abuse is a crime. If you or a loved one has suffered child abuse in the scouts or another youth group setting we would urge you to report it to the police immediately.

All police forces in England and Wales have a specialist child protection unit to handle current and historical abuse complaints. If necessary, we can act on your behalf and make the initial contact.

Whilst a successful outcome in criminal proceedings could assist with your case, a failure to secure a criminal conviction will not necessarily prevent you from bringing a claim for compensation.

What time limits apply to making a claim?

If you suffered child abuse in the Scouts or a similar youth group like Cubs or Girl Guides, it can be difficult to reveal the nature of the abuse. However, when you feel the time is right to do so it’s important to receive expert advice.

Whilst there are strict time limits for bringing a compensation claim, it is still possible to pursue justice even if the offence took place many years ago and it’s important to speak to an expert lawyer to protect your claim.

The courts do understand why survivors find it hard to disclose what’s happened in these highly-sensitive cases and can waive or extend these time limits. We would encourage anyone who wants to seek redress through the legal process to get in touch at the earliest opportunity.