The Boy Scouts of America has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it looks to set up a trust fund to compensate victims of sexual abuse. The organization has been faced with costly lawsuits as it fights allegations of child sexual abuse against its members.

According to the Boy Scouts of America, the Chapter 11 filing will allow it to create the Victims Compensation Trust that will provide “equitable” compensation for those victims of sexual abuse. The Boy Scouts of America is encouraging victims of abuse to come forward to file a claim as it moves forward with the bankruptcy process.

"The BSA [Boy Scouts of America] cares deeply about all victims of abuse and sincerely apologizes to anyone who was harmed during their time in Scouting," Roger Mosby, president and CEO, said in a statement. "We are outraged that there have been times when individuals took advantage of our programs to harm innocent children.

"While we know nothing can undo the tragic abuse that victims suffered, we believe the Chapter 11 process – with the proposed Trust structure – will provide equitable compensation to all victims while maintaining the BSA's important mission."

The Boy Scouts of America said no other entities, including local councils of the organization, are not affected by the bankruptcy filing, and all activities under its leadership will continue as planned now and into the future. Payments to vendors and partners will also be maintained as well as services that the Boy Scouts of America provides.

The organization is being legally represented by Sidley Austin LLP with Alvarez & Marsal North America LLC appointed as its financial advisor.

The Boy Scouts of America has nearly 2.2 million youth members from the ages of five to 21 and about 800,000 volunteers. Its history dates back to 1910.