Five-Year Commitment Builds on Shared Focus of Providing Services to Help Victims Heal
IRVING, Texas, Feb. 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has joined forces with 1in6, a leading organization for male survivors of sexual abuse, in a five-year partnership that meaningfully expands vital services to better support the needs of those who were harmed in Scouting.
"We are encouraged by the barriers to abuse that the Boy Scouts of America has implemented to protect youth moving forward and the important measures the organization is taking to aid survivors of abuse, beginning with believing, supporting, and encouraging survivors to come forward," said Matthew Ennis, President and CEO of 1in6.
The BSA is steadfastly committed to supporting victims of abuse.
"We sincerely apologize to anyone who was harmed in Scouting," said Roger Mosby, President and CEO of the Boy Scouts of America. "In addition to implementing strong policies to prevent abuse, we are dedicated to supporting victims when and how they need it," Mosby said.
For years, the BSA has funded in-person counseling for any current or former Scout, or member of their family, by a provider of their choice. No proof is required; a victim need only make a request.
The BSA recognized, however, that not all victims are ready to seek counseling. Knowing that, the organization started a dialog with one survivor to learn how the BSA could better support victims. That discussion brought to light the critical role of 1in6 services in the lives of some survivors and the potential for that support to help others.
"1in6 has been an invaluable resource for me, and I have no doubt that this partnership will help the BSA move even farther in the right direction to support victims and their families," said Jason Lee, the survivor who first encouraged the partnership. "I'm proud of the BSA for facing this problem head-on, in a public and transparent way."
Through this partnership, 1in6 has greatly expanded its 24/7 web-based helpline chat service that enables victims to connect instantly with a trained advocate. Starting in March, 1in6 will also more than double the number of weekly online support groups offered for men who were sexually abused.
"1in6's clinically facilitated groups are designed to support men in their journeys of trauma recovery, with a focus on education and mutual support," Ennis said. "Information shared through both of these services will be kept strictly confidential by 1in6."
1in6 will also provide continuing education offerings to assist in training BSA staff and volunteers in gaining a better understanding of the impact of sexual abuse on the lives of men and best practices for responding to male survivors.
For more information on the partnership or to access 1in6 support services, please visit www.1in6.org/BSA.
About the Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) provides the nation's foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, which helps young people be "Prepared. For Life.®" The Scouting organization is composed of nearly 2.2 million youth members between the ages of 5 and 21 and approximately 960,000 volunteers in local councils throughout the United States and its territories. For more information on the Boy Scouts of America, please visit www.Scouting.org. To learn more about the BSA's youth protection policies, visit www.Scouting.org/Youth-Safety.
The mission of 1in6 is to help men who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences live healthier, happier lives. Our mission also includes serving family members, friends, partners, and service providers by providing information and support resources on the web and in the community. You can learn more at www.1in6.org.
SOURCE The Boy Scouts of America; 1in6