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Did The Jehovah’s Witnesses Hide Reports of Child Molestation?

Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse Cover-Ups in the Jehovah’s Witness Congregation

Numerous allegations of child molestation and sexual abuse cover-ups surround the Jehovah’s Witness congregation. Reports have shown that claims of sexual abuse brought by congregation members have been essentially ignored dating back to the 1950s. Read on to learn more about why former Jehovah’s Witness members are speaking up about the alleged child sexual abuse cover-ups and the action they are calling for.

Former Congregation Members are Speaking Up

Press in the U.S. and other countries like the U.K. have interviewed numerous former Jehovah’s Witness members about the alleged childhood sexual abuse they endured and how the elders and other group leaders have failed to protect them.

A February 2020 BBC news article reports that at least 20 former Jehovah’s Witnesses are suing the organization for “historical sexual abuse” they suffered as children. Another British publication, The Guardian, released an article about two former Jehovah’s Witness elders calling for mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse and that the organization believes it’s “answerable only to God.” The Atlantic, a U.S. publication, tells the story of a former Jehovah’s Witness who stole a secret “database” of child abusers to expose allegations of child sexual abuse that the organization hid for decades.

Survivors of childhood sexual abuse in the congregations tell a similar story; sexual abuse allegations are encouraged to be kept secret and should be handled within the Jehovah’s Witness organization — the matter should be left in “Jehovah’s (God’s) hands.”

Why The “Two-Witness Rule is a Problem

Jehovah’s Witnesses’ policies for handling child sexual abuse allegations essentially block reporting these acts to authorities. The “two-witness” rule, which is based on bible interpretations, requires that sexual abuse allegations be backed by a secondary witness to the sexual abuse. The problem with this policy is that perpetrators will not confess, nor are there typically witnesses to sexual abuse.

Related Article: What are Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Policies for Handling Child Sexual Abuse?

If You're a Survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse, We Can Help.

Survivors of childhood sexual abuse often face life-long emotional consequences. From depression and anxiety to PTSD and relationship challenges, the psychological impact can be severe.

It’s not uncommon for survivors of childhood sexual abuse to repress the memories and fear confronting their abuser. However, many survivors who speak up find closure and relief in holding their perpetrators accountable for their heinous actions. Learn how we can help you move forward with your life. We believe you and are here to support you every step of the way.

When you’re ready to speak out, contact The Zalkin Law Firm, P.C. today at (800) 477-2989 to learn your rights.