Scouts Australia has apologised to those who suffered sexual abuse during their time in the organisation, but lawyers of survivors say the sentiment does not match actions.
“We failed you, and we apologise for the pain that this has caused,” Scouts chief commissioner Phil Harrison said.
“We apologise for not listening to you when some of you shared your stories with adults in Scouting who you trusted.”
Scouts said the apology was part of a commitment to acknowledge and address the harm some of its members suffered.
“It’s a genuine and heartfelt admission that for some young people, their time in Scouting was a negative experience, and we are truly sorry for this,” Mr Harrison said.
But lawyers for survivors have dismissed the apology, saying such efforts ring hollow given how Scouts continue to treat those seeking compensation.
“In our view Scouts NSW stand out amongst institutional defendants for their appalling and heartless conduct towards survivors seeking compensation,” Maurice Blackburn NSW head of abuse law, Danielle De Paoli, said.
“The experience of many of our clients in matters against Scouts NSW has left them significantly re-traumatised, namely because of what they are put through and the aggressive and obstructionist approach taken.”
Maurice Blackburn said in recent weeks Scouts NSW had sought to use a defence used by unincorporated organisations to avoid being sued.
This defence has been condemned by the abuse royal commission.
– ABC News
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