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

The Prevalence of Child Sexual Abuse in the Jehovah’s Witnesses Community

The Jehovah’s Witnesses organization claims that they have a legal right to keep reports of child sexual abuse a secret and unreported to authorities. The argument is that when child sexual abuse allegations are reported, it’s considered confidential between their elders and other members and the congregation — similar to a parishioner confessing to a priest. Here’s why this is a problem and leaving children at high risk of child sexual abuse.

What is The “Two Witness” Rule?

In the Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation, a specific rule governs how child sexual abuse is handled. In short, the “two witness rule” implies that if the accused does not confess and there aren’t two witnesses to the crime, then it is discouraged for victims to report the incident to authorities and to leave the matter in “Jehovah’s (God’s) hands.”

The Consequences Surrounding the “Two Witness” Rule

Since the Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation does not support reporting child sexual abuse to authorities without two witnesses, many victims will be subjected to continued abuse. In addition, perpetrators are free to seek out new victims and, in some cases, abuse children for many years to come. This is highly concerning, and survivors of child sexual abuse will endure a lifetime of emotional scars. Survivors of childhood sexual abuse often face the following problems as they grow into adulthood:

  • Relationship troubles
  • Self-esteem issues
  • Trust issues
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

How Child Sexual Abuse Survivors Can Get Help.

Child sexual abuse is one of the most horrific and painful experiences for anyone ever to endure. The emotional, physical, and psychological impact causes survivors many challenges that can last a lifetime. While it’s common for survivors to repress the memories of abuse and fear confronting their abuser, many survivors who speak up often feel relief in holding their perpetrator accountable for their heinous actions. Learn how we can help you move forward with your life.

We believe you and are here to give you the support you need. Contact The Zalkin Law Firm, P.C. today at (800) 477-2989 to learn your rights.