Sonya’s daughter was abused: “What does Jehovah’s Witnesses have to hide?”
“We have gone through hell,” says Sonya. Her daughter, now 21 years old, has been abused for years by ex-Jehovah’s Witness Samet G. “Our entire family has suffered, at one point I was only concerned about preventing her from committing suicide.”
It is 2011 when Samet visits his aunt Sonya. He has to tell her something, he says. What he next says, Sonya shocks to the depths of her soul. Samet confesses that he has been to her daughter. It is the moment when the life of Sonya and her family changes forever.
Sonya is at that time Jehovah’s Witness, just like Samet and his family. They often come together on the floor, her daughter often stays with her cousin in the house at weekends. In retrospect, it appears that the moments when Samet strikes. The abuse began when Sonya’s daughter was 4 and continued until she was 14.
Forced to oral sex
Under pressure from Sonya’s daughter, Samet confesses what he has done. He tells Sonya and the elders of the church that he has been to his niece twice. Later it will become clear that it happened much more often and went much further than Samet claimed. He touched her and forced her to oral sex.
Only in 2015, if they have stepped out of the denomination, Sonya’s daughter can make a declaration. The investigation of the police is slow. The case will only go to court for the first time in March of this year. The case is being held, through revelations from RTL Nieuws . It turns out that Jehovah’s Witnesses keep records of internal lawsuits against child abusers.
‘They are afraid after all’
Also in the case of Samet appear to be documents, says an elder of Jehovah’s Witnesses to the police. It is a record of Samet’s conversation with elders, in which he confesses the abuse. The Public Prosecutor is demanding the documents, but gets zero on the church organization’s request . He does not want to violate the privacy of Samet, she writes in a letter.
“Very weak”, Sonya calls that. “That means that they are afraid of something, if you are as sure as you are, and you do everything according to the rules, why would you be afraid to give something to the police? play or do they have something to hide? ”
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But the documents do not come. That has hindered the case against Samet, thinks Sonya. “Everybody says that it does not matter, because he is convicted, but I think he got a higher sentence, if the judge could have seen what he had told in 2011. Samet denied everything in the courtroom. the confession of that time, it had been clear in court. ”
She blames the PPS for accepting the refusal of Jehovah’s Witnesses. “They only sent one letter, and that was it, then they did not try to do anything more.”
“Then why should you file a report?”
Samet is ultimately sentenced, to 9 months conditional prison sentence and 240 hours of community service. The testimonies of, among others, family members and an elder prove enough to prove abuse. The penalty is lower than the claim, because it took too long before the case came to court.
The attitude of Jehovah’s Witnesses in this lawsuit will ensure that victims think about it before they report it, thinks Sonya. “The minister says every time ‘do it, it’s so important’, but you go through hell during such a process, and if at the end it turns out that you still do not get the documents, why would you to do it? “