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Youth Protection Fact Sheet for Parents PDF Print E-mail

We want to stress that the likelihood of anything happening to your child is highly unlikely and that there is no way to know for certain whether a child will be targeted by pedophiles or not.  We take youth protection seriously, and we have a zero tolerance policy against child predators.  We are proud we are the Scout Program which evaluates on a comprehensive basis every Counselor of ours.  We have included some facts below however.  Parents  and the Scout Programs of Adventure Scouts USA working together can prevent abuse and that is why we consider Parents our Partners.


Facts about who is abused:

  • Girls are more likely to be abused by family members or family friends
  • Boys are more likely to be abused by those outside the family and strangers
  • 46% of all abused children are boys
  • Quiet, introspective youth are more likely to be approached by a pedophile than louder, extroverted youth.  Also, youth from single parent families, families going through divorce, or economically depressed families are more likely to be approached.
  • More boys are approached at age 12 than any other age.

Facts about who is abusing:

  • Pedophiles look and act no different from anyone else
  • Many pedophiles will attach themselves to the family of their desired victim, becoming friends with the parents, or dating a single parent, in order to gain access to their desired victim
  • Pedophiles often give gifts to their victims, including expensive presents, as well as pornography, alcohol, and drugs
  • A pedophile is just as likely to be someone a youth trusts as a stranger
  • Abuse often begins with seemingly innocent gestures such as a shoulder massage or a smack on the butt

Reasons Why Victims Often Keep Silent:

  • Embarrassment
  • Guilt
  • Fear—many abusers will tell victims they will hurt them, or their family or friends if they tell
  • Abusers will sometimes say their victims will go to jail, be embarrassed in a court trial, or be forced to leave their parents if they tell
  • Youth who do not tell often want to be discovered however, and will leave clues, such as falling grades, refusal to participate in social activities, sudden interest in alcohol or drugs, and violent mood swings
  • Boys are less likely to tell than girls

Many times a victim will only come forward if:

  • Another victim does first
  • The abuser moves on to another victim, making the first victim jealous
  • The abuser does something to anger the victim
  • The victim’s parents finally cause the victim to reveal what happened

Statistics on abuse and convictions:

  • Only 5% of allegations lead to signed victim statements or convictions
  • Only 10% of men abusing boys are arrested
  • There is no clear agreement statistically as to how many children are molested in the United States each year.  Estimates range from 2% to 30% or more.
Adventure Scouts USA