Scouts Canada apologizes to abuse victims

Dec. 9, 2011 at 12:47 PM
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OTTAWA, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- Scouts Canada officials, reacting to revelations of sexual abuse of scouts by volunteer troop leaders, have issued an apology to the victims.

"Our sincere efforts to prevent such crimes have not always succeeded," Scouts Canada official Steve Kent, a Newfoundland politician, said in a statement. "We are sorry for that. We are saddened at any resulting harm."

Two months after the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported its investigation found Scouts Canada kept a confidential list of pedophiles banned from the organization and had signed confidentiality agreements with child sex abuse victims, the scouting organization said Thursday it has hired an outside company to review its records and appointed a panel to examine whether its current child protection policies are adequate.

The CBC investigation found about 340 children had been abused by scout leaders from the 1940s to the present day.

While Don Wright, founder of a British Columbia organization that counsels sexual abuse victims, said the public apology could be "really important" for those who were abused, abuse victim Joey Day, said it was "too little, too late."

"I'm 50 and [the abuse] happened to me between the ages of 7 and 9," the Edmonton man said.

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