BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA RECOGNIZES YOUTH PROTECTION MONTH
Leading Youth Service Organization Encourages Education, Prevention and Reporting of Child Abuse
In response to the staggering increase each year in child abuse, and as part
of a continued effort to educate youth and adults to recognize and report child
abuse, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is recognizing April as Youth Protection
Each year, the number of reported incidents of child abuse increases.
According to the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information,
in 2003 an estimated 1.9 million referrals concerning child welfare were made
to and investigated by state child protective services agencies (CPS). This is
only an estimate and does not include the vast numbers of unreported incidents
and incidents not accepted for investigation. Of that 1.9 million, more than
900,000 children were determined to be victims of abuse or neglect, and more
than 100,000 victims of sexual abuse.
Throughout April, BSA will place extra emphasis on its Youth Protection
programs and initiatives. Boy Scout councils across America have access to a
newly revised DVD set of educational programs for youth and parents on personal
safety, recognizing dangerous situations and avoiding becoming victims.
"Child sexual abuse is a problem in our society, and it demands the attention
of all youth-serving organizations," said Jim Terry, director, Assistant Chief
Scout Executive, of the BSA. "This is why April as Youth Protection Month is so
very important. The Boy Scouts of America advocates parents becoming actively
involved with their children. In combating child abuse, we stress the importance
of parents having ongoing communication with their children. It is worthwhile
to talk to your children every day and take time to listen and observe."
The BSA program targets child abuse on five primary levels, focusing on:
education in detecting and preventing child abuse; leader selection procedures
for organizations that charter Scout troops and packs, Venturing Crews and
Explorer Posts; rules to help prevent abuse; prompt reporting of incidents;
and action when incidents are reported.
Throughout all levels of Scouting, the BSA empowers youth to prevent child
abuse through the "Three R's Of Youth Protection" - Recognize, Resist and
- Recognize that anyone could be a child abuser, and be
aware of situations that could lead to abuse
- Resist advances made by child molesters to avoid being
abused, and know that it is OK to tell adults "no," which many
children feel they should not do out of respect for adults
- Report any molestation or attempted molestation immediately
to parents or other trusted adults
Boy Scout councils throughout the United States will also participate in a
variety of activities to recognize April as "Youth Protection Month," including
online leader training updates, unit discussions of youth protection
information, viewing of youth protection videos, child ID kits and
fingerprinting and more.
Serving nearly 4.5 million young people between 7 and 20 years of age with
more than 300 councils throughout the United States and its territories, the Boy
Scouts of America is the nation's foremost youth program of character development
and values-based leadership training. For more information on the BSA, please