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Tag: Confidentiality Agreements

Sex Abuse Settlements and the "Re-Victimization" of Confidentiality Agreements

Earlier this year I posed the question “are secret sex abuse settlements unethical?“.
This question was raised in the face of CBC’s reporting that Scouts Canada settled sex abuse claims and that confidentiality was a staple term.  CBC has continued to follow this matter.  Scouts Canada has softened their approach with respect to these settlements and now CBC reports that a historic abuse victim welcomes this development stating It means freedom to speak as I wish — should I choose to speak — or not speak.”

When asked about the consequences of the confidentiality agreement following settlement CBC reports the following quote attributed to the victim of historic abuse In a sense, you are revictimized...You become the isolated person who has to not tell anybody what the most important thing in your life is.”
Given this profound burden I repeat the question, is there any greater good that comes from the enforcement of these confidentiality agreements which outweighs their harm?

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?