Translation: Trouw de Verdieping – 24th July 2017(3)

Onderzoek naar Jehova’s is nodig

Research on Jehovah’s is needed

Comment that sexual abuse takes place at the Jehovah’s witnesses is not the most shocking to the stories about that abuse in the past few days in this newspaper were published.  That is a very sad statement.

But the horrors of sexual abuse seem to almost no society or association.  Also not 30,000 souls to the Dutch community of Jehovah’s witnesses, so let the victim stories in this newspaper.

At least as shocking as that abuse itself are the messages on how the witnesses the abuse indoors try to tackle.  That approach harms victims and hold perpetrators from the wind, told victims, members and ex-members in this newspaper.  The Jehovah’s witnesses handle an internal justice system, by the members of the faith community that is considered higher than the judicial system.  That internal system works traumatizing for victims. Perpetrators come away with lenient sentences.  The unit within the community, and the belief that the own Bible-based standards should be considered higher than the standards of the evil outside world, make that victims of abuse at the Jehovah’s witnesses not the first priority seem to have.

While in addressing sexual abuse the victim right is always the first priority.Every victim deserves recognition, recognition and protection.

Own legal system

That an association or community of faith there is a private legal system after, is not necessarily problematic.  If problems can be solved in a way that does justice to each: fine.  As a soccer player in the Premier League a beaten opponent spuds and red, Football Association KNVB itself bends over it and puts the player in question then a fine or a suspension.  Nothing wrong with that.  Its own legal system is in such a case a fine instrument to address problems within the own group.

But sexual abuse is of a whole other order.  If there is talk of justice must always be turned on.Formal is that also what the Jehovah’s witnesses.  However, let the victim stories, there is in practice little of.

The call of Corinne Dettmeijer (National Rapporteur on trafficking in human beings and sexual violence against children) to the Government research to the own legal system that the Jehovah’s witnesses in cases of sexual abuse is therefore very in place.  The freedom that religious communities have to make their own rules, is worth a lot.  But the protection of children and vulnerable groups from sexual abuse deserves a much higher priority.

The view of the newspaper, expressed by members of the Editorial Board and senior editors.

Read in our file all the stories about the abuse within the Jehovah’s witnesses.