Kanakuk Kamps Must Be Held Accountable for Systemic Sexual Abuse

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News Investigation Exposes Kanakuk Kamps’ Decades-Long Child Abuse Coverup 

WASHINGTON, DC (May 26, 2022) – The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) renews its calls for Kanakuk Kamps’ leadership to acknowledge their failure to protect countless children that were in their care from sexual abuse. Survivors, family members, and former staff have come forward with detailed accounts of abuse at Kanakuk Kamps at the hands of staff and other campers – allegations that were dismissed and covered up for decades and as recently as this year. 

These new revelations add to extensive evidence against Kanakuk and were made public through an investigative series conducted by the Springfield News-Leader, part of the nationwide USA Today Network.

“Kanakuk Kamps has ignored, dismissed, and covered up abuse of children and while protecting and defending multiple abusers for decades – a sobering example of institutional abuse that highlights the critical need for accountability, transparency, and sweeping reform,” said Dawn Hawkins, CEO of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation. 

“Kanakuk Kamps must take immediate action to protect its incoming campers as they begin to arrive at camp this weekend. Kanakuk Kamps must inform parents of these new allegations and outline the steps they are going to do to institute safety measures this season and moving forward. If these steps cannot be taken, Kanakuk Kamps must pause its operations until protection of its current and future campers can be ensured.

“Kanakuk Kamps has violated the trust of thousands of families and caused immeasurable harm to countless children who attended these summer camps by putting the camp’s reputation above child safety. We also call on Kanakuk leadership to admit to their known failures, release survivors from NDAs, submit to an independent investigation, and release an annual transparency report,” Hawkins added.

Kanakuk Kamps is on the 2022 Dirty Dozen List of mainstream contributors to sexual exploitation.

The Springfield News-Leader wrote several stories which include: “Survivors, ex-employees say unreported abuse at Kanakuk camps in Branson spans decades,” “Kanakuk camper says she was told to apologize, denied call home after reporting abuse,” “’It was just a thing at Kanakuk’: Campers and staff say nudity was part of camp culture.”

About National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE)
Founded in 1962, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is the leading national non-partisan organization exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation such as child sexual abuse, prostitution, sex trafficking and the public health harms of pornography.

The Numbers

300+

NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.

100+

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has had over 100 policy victories since 2010. Each victory promotes human dignity above exploitation.

93

NCOSE’s activism campaigns and victories have made headlines around the globe. Averaging 93 mentions per week by media outlets and shows such as Today, CNN, The New York Times, BBC News, USA Today, Fox News and more.

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