JW.org Policies FAIL Sexual Abuse Victims
The JW organization needs to change it's policies in how it handles cases of sexual abuse.
The Royal Commission formed in Australia in 2013 to investigate how different institutions deal with the sexual abuse of children.
The Royal Commission identified the following POLICIES and practices in the Jehovah’s Witness organisation’s response to child sexual abuse as problematic:
• the organisation does not have a practice of reporting child sexual abuse to police or any other authority
• before 1998, a survivor of child sexual abuse was required to make their allegation in the presence of their abuser
• if the accused does not confess, there is an inflexible requirement that there be two eyewitnesses to an incident of child sexual abuse
• women are absent from the decision-making processes of the internal disciplinary system
• there is no clear provision for a survivor to be accompanied by a support person during the internal disciplinary process
• the organisation has limited and ineffective risk management practices
• the organisation has a policy and practice of shunning those who wish to leave the organisation.
The commission also revealed that the Jehovah’s Witnesses have kept records of sexual abuse allegations since 1950. The organization submitted documents from complaints against 1,006 of its Australian members. Among those, 579 (57 percent) admitted to sexually abusing children, and 401 were disfellowshipped (230 were later reinstated by the organization). However, the Royal Commission found “no evidence” that Jehovah’s Witnesses notified authorities about a single case.
In Canada, there is a national class action that is seeking $66 million in compensation from the JW organization for survivors of sexual assault. Here’s an excellent article that came out in January 2018 from the UCObserver, with it’s focus on Canadian JW victims.
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