Are Secret Sex Abuse Settlements Unethical?
When sex abuse lawsuits settle out of court confidentiality agreements are often an accompanying term. The Abuser (or institutions who employed the abuser) often suggest such clauses. If a victim of abuse enters into such a contract and later speaks out they can jeopardize their settlement.
The CBC has recently reported that “Scouts Canada has signed out-of-court confidentiality agreements with more than a dozen child sex-abuse victims in recent years“. This issue has a connection to British Columbia with CBC’s interactive map documenting some Scouts related abuse cases in BC.
A reader of this blog recently asked the following pointed question: “Would your parents have put you in Scouts if those cases had been published? “
This is a good question worth publicly posting here. Is there any good that comes from confidentiality agreements in sex abuse litigation? If not is there any reason why these agreements should be enforceable given the greater harm that secrecy can create?