Mandatory Reporting Of Sexual Abuse
When it comes to the reporting of child abuse in the Jehovah’s Witness community and regarding some other clergy in general, some have taken statements silentlambs.org has made out of context to make it appear there is a contradiction in how silentlambs views the issue of reporting child molestation, whether an attempt out of ignorance or done intentionally remains to be seen. The fact is in all fifty States it is MANDATORY to report child molestation. What does MANDATORY mean? Webster’s defines it as: “Required by or as if by mandate or command: obligatory.”
Now the question remains is it MANDATORY in all 50 states of the The next question is, are Jehovah’s Witness and other parents MANDATED to report child abuse. YES! Each State has laws and penalties defined locally for parental non-reporting of child molestation, ranging from being charged with a misdemeanor and facing fine or jail time to loss of custodial care due to negligence.
Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) (Jan. 1996 version), 42 U.S.C. 5101, et seq.. requires all 50 States to comply with MANDATORY reporting or lose federal funding, no State is not receiving Federal funding due to non-compliance.
So the 2-15-02 BOE letter (BODIES OF ELDERS letter from world headquarters Jehovah’s Witness elders to local elders) violates Federal guidelines
on MANDATORY reporting of child abuse in telling elders “If you are asked, make it clear that whether to report the matter to the authorities or not is a personal decision for each individual to make and that there are no congregation sanctions for either decision.”
That is if PARENTS choose to not report they will not be reported to authorities and remain as good examples in the Jehovah’s Witness (JW) congregation. This violates MANDATORY reporting laws in all 50 states and also JW doctrine requiring all JW”S be in subjection to the “superior authorities” in all legal matters unless man’s law conflicts with God’s law. In this case the JW leadership is condoning defiance of MANDATORY reporting laws on child molestation, leaving it a personal decision. Those who wish to split hairs with supposed concern for “timid” victims or going to the n th degree to find a basis to not report are dead wrong, the LAW argues otherwise. Silentlambs.org has more links and comments on this at http://www.silentlambs.org/assistance/legal.cfm
Any making broad sweeping remarks on this topic need to get educated at silentlambs.org before speaking out and thus know better why this Policy by the Watchtower Society directing Jehovah’s Witnesses is vastly deficient and must change to protect children in the organization and those of the public encountered by so-called repentant pedophiles who are also sent to knock at the public’s doors. Current Watchtower policy requires a molested victim get two or more witnesses to tell Elders they saw an accused JW molest the child though no molester lets anyone other than the victim see him. Watchtower heads keep some 23,000 secret files on molesters in Brooklyn, a scandal reported by major TV in the U.S. (Dateline NBC, CBS, CNN etc), in the U.K., Canada and globewide. (silentlambs.org) Elders from top down excommunicate JWs who oppose Watchtower Society policy and decent grassroot JWs are told the media is lying or misinformed.
SO HOW CAN THE PUBLIC HELP? PLEASE DO NOT DONATE WHEN ASKED FOR DONATIONS BY JW’S (THE ORIGINAL DISTRIBUTOR OF THIS IS A JW STAYING ANONYMOUS TO AVOID EXCOMMUNICATION) AND SAY YOU REFUSE TO TALK WITH THEM UNTIL THIS POLICY GETS CHANGED. YOU CAN ALSO MAKE AND DISTRIBUTE COPIES OF THIS THEN MAIL THEM TO JW’S, LEAVE THEM AT LAUNDROMATS, IN RESTROOMS ETC.