Is Reporting Child Abuse Mandatory?

by berrygerry 5 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • berrygerry

    Was reading the comments section of The Guardian story about Candace Conti.

    An apologist or two were defending the inaction of elders - comparing it to attorney/client privilege.

    Commonwealth countries do not have the same blanket coverage that is appealed to by WTS.

    When searching whether or not reporting is mandatory in Canada, came across this site:

    Do I need to report child abuse and neglect?

    Yes. Everyone has a duty to report child abuse and neglect under Canadian child welfare laws. Professionals who work with children and youth have an added responsibility to report.

    You are obliged to report child maltreatment if you know or suspect it is occurring. This is called the 'duty to report'. Every person in Canada has the duty to report known or suspected child maltreatment by law.

    For further information, please see the Centre of Excellence for Child Welfare's series of information sheets on provincial/territorial child welfare systems. Each sheet has a section on child welfare law, including the duty to report child maltreatment. Click here to view.

    Who do I call if I suspect child abuse or neglect?

    Known Known or suspected abuse or neglect of a child must be reported to:

    • local child welfare services (e.g., children’s aid society or child and family services agency), or
    • provincial/territorial social service ministries or departments, or
    • local police

    Click here to find your local child welfare agency and phone numbers to report suspected abuse.

    Any thoughts?

  • problemaddict 2
    problemaddict 2

    Attorney client privilege?

  • The Searcher
    The Searcher

    In a court case involving a paedophile JW in UK, the Elder's claimed "clergy-confessor privilege" as an excuse for withholding the pervert's admission of guilt from the police.

    When the judge ordered them to come back to the court the next day and produce the evidence they'd withheld from the police for over 2 years, the Elder's "strong Bible based principles" suddenly evaporated, and they caved in and submitted the evidence.

    No doubt they were instructed to do so by the Org's lawyers in London, who would have warned them that the Elders faced jail time for contempt, if they disobeyed the judge!

    The same lawyers who'd probably told them to keep their mouths shut for all that time!

  • bemused
    Interesting. So any elder in Canada who has not reported a suspicion of child abuse to the authorities has broken the law? If that law has been in force some time then we may hear more of this.
  • Phizzy

    In the U.K there is no such thing enshrined in Law as "clergy-confessor privilege" or as it was known "Priest-Penitent" confidentiality. The Clergyman or woman who receives a confession of a crime must report it.

    The Elders in the above case show their ignorance of U.K Law.

    Whether or not the Law where you live demands this, surely common sense and a real Moral Compass makes it imperative that any such knowledge is passed to the competent and proper authorities straight away.

  • talesin

    I live in Canada.

    When I took training as a crisis intervenor for a sexual assault crisis line, we trained with the RCMP and also a lawyer in some of our sessions.

    Reporting is mandatory in Canada for all adults. To my knowledge, there have been very few instances where someone was actually charged for failure to report. However, the responsibility to report is considered greater when a person works with children, or in a counseling, teaching, or any position where a child may be looking to them for support.

    Even on the crisis line, we had to identify to any minor that we had to report any call where they told us about being raped/molested, immediately and without exception.

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