I do not believe that the
religious leaders should HAVE to tell the police, no more than psychiatrists. I
am sure that a great deal of victims seek help from their religious leaders
who, in turn, advice the, encourage them and help them in seeking help from the
Unfortunately, with the JW in
particular, that is not the case. Yes, Elders are told not to do a thing if the
victim wants to go to the cops, but they are not told to provide help and
comfort in a process that involves the police. There is no instructions to the
elders to advise the victim to go to the cops.
This is where the issue
really is. A victim tells the elders that she has gone to the cops or wants to
go to the cops and suddenly, there will be this “uncomfortable” moment where
the elders will say: it is your choice. They are not allowed to say: Good for
you! What a good decision! No, it will be an uncomfortable: “It is your choice”.
Other members will not know
what is wrong, but they will sense the “uncomfortable” situation and will
assume that you have a problem with the elders; and anyone who has an issue
with the elders is spiritually week. This will translate to slowly becoming outcast
from the group (limited conversations at the hall, not being invited by anyone,
having difficulty finding someone to go door to door with).
In the end, the peer pressure
will build up to a level not seen among kids in high school!
Unfortunately, I do not believe that people outside of the JW can understand
all this and just how terrible this situation becomes.
This explains why I believe
that if there was a law surrounding this, it would be that the religious
leaders HAVE to urge the victims to go to the police.