Translation: Trouw de Verdieping – 22nd July 2017(2)

Brede roep om onderzoek naar Jehovah’s Getuigen

Wide call for research on Jehovah’s witnesses

Marinde van der Breggen en Marno de Boer & Rianne Oosterom

The House and the Rapporteur sexual violence against children, Corinne Dettmeijer, want recognition for the victims of abuse by Jehovah’s witnesses.

The Government should investigate the private justice system that the Jehovah’s witnesses in cases of sexual abuse.  That says Corinne Dettmeijer, National Rapporteur on human trafficking and sexual violence against children.

If the sexual integrity of children is not guaranteed, should the Government intervene, she says.  That religious communities and associations in Netherlands have the freedom to make their own rules, should not hamper.

Dettmeijer is ‘shocked’ by the media coverage the Wedding about abuse within Jehovah’s witnesses.  “It is not really taken seriously.  Victims are silenced.Offenders, even if they are known, have more or less free game.  Then we betray our children.”

Politics

Also from the second Room sounds the call for research.  “We will call on the Minister to figure this out,” says Dutch Labour Party Parliament Member Jose chick.  “Religion should never be a reason for you to the rule of law, and children must always be protected against sexual abuse.”

SP mp Nine Kooiman wants the ministries of public health and safety and justice respond to the stories in Wedding and begin an investigation.  “That should be a answer the questions how extensive the problem is, and what politics can do.”

Kaka thinks the hotline Sect signal can play an important role in this.  “The people there have the knowledge about this type of problem.  It plays with other closed groups.”  Now it makes transparent what religious communities they Sect signal does not receive notifications.

Professor of law and religion Fokko Oldenhuis calls the hotline a ‘toothless’ because it only signals and no further powers.  He pleaded repeatedly for an instance that sects can ban based on notifications, such as in Belgium.

The Professor joins the desire to further research, just like the victims, members and ex-members with whom Wedding spoke.  Marianne the guardian: “I’m not the only victim:  I have heard it so often that I think the percentage of abused children is higher than in the Catholic Church.”

Recognition

In closed communities is talking about sexual violence more difficult, making it less soon comes out, know Dettmeijer National Rapporteur.  “That also abuse at the Jehovah’s witnesses, therefore, not surprise me.Isolates itself as a community, it is for victims harder to see what actually happens.”

From the conversations Wedding had with four victims, it turns out that they had to fight hard for recognition, and that is usually not.That pattern b Dettmeijer.”  Recovery begins with recognition that something was done to you.If not, is the road to recovery.”

If there is an investigation, according to the National Rapporteur is important to look at patterns that ensure that children do not dare to talk about abuse.  “Everywhere where power relations play, abuse for.  That is why it is important to recognize the patterns, so that communities can learn from.”

Read in our file the other stories about the abuse at Jehovah’s witnesses.