There has been a lot of attention on child abuse in the organization. And justly so. About time too. I was sexually abused while a child in the borg. When it came out, the elders and my mother chose to put me in foster care and keep the abuser in the home and congregation - supposedly to keep me safe.
I believed that at the time. I was only 12 - what did I know?
Since that time I have realized it was only one of the cover-ups entailing sexual abuse in the JWs.
When I was 16 I went back to live with my mother. My step-father who had abused me was no longer around so it was "safe" for me to come home from the foster home (more than 500 km away)
Within a year I was baptized and just after I turned 18 my mother arranged a marriage for me with a newly converted "brother". Within 2 weeks I knew this was a terrible mistake. In the fifteen years of our marriage I regularly had to deal with his sexual demands - many of them unwanted and forbidden by the organization. He became an elder after about 8 years.
At one point I was in a cervical collar for weeks due to an extremely painful neck injury. He took what he wanted. During my second pregnancy the doctors said "No sex" due to the high risk pregnancy. He didn't care and took what he wanted - when he wanted. If I was sick or tired - nothing mattered as he waved the Watchtower and a Bible at me to get me to provide the "marital due" gawd how I hate that phrase! He told me on a regular basis that he would be forced to commit adultery and I would be blood-guilty for his actions. Somehow he could never see scriptures that spoke of the woman as a weaker vessel or to love your wife as yourself - always managed to turn it back to him wanting to do just that - love his wife. Blows my mind now just it did back then.
I felt ashamed and dirty. I thought I was a terrible wife. I hated sex. I went for therapy - to get me to enjoy sex - pretty hard to do when your partner has only one agenda - to satisfy his needs at the expense of the other person. Most of the time I wondered what was the difference between me and a prostitute. I figured they got paid in cash and got to choose who they went with. I was stuck with the same person every day and had to clean up after him too and got room and board.
This almost killed me. The gritting my teeth for it to be over. The anxiety waiting for him to come home - knowing what was coming next. The relief when he went out knowing he wouldn't be home for a while. The pretending to the world that we were the perfect little JW family and I was the perfect JW elder's wife. It almost killed me.
I thought of dying every single day. I spoke with a few people and asked them to watch out for my girls if something should happen to me. I taught them how to take care of themselves if I was not around. I made my plans.
But I did not want to die. I wanted to live.... and be free.
There is no honorable way out of this organization. There was no honorable way out of the marriage. I already felt lower than scum so I did the one thing that would give me my freedom. ADULTERY. One time.
It turned into a horrible experience. I begged him to stop but he wouldn't. I went home sore, bruised and bleeding.
When I finally got the courage to tell the elders disfellowshipped me. My husband told the elders how he had treated me during our marriage. He told them that for 15 years he had sexually abused me and made all kinds of sexual demands on me that were forbidden. He got a small tap on the wrist. No public reproof. No disfellowshipping. Nothing.
We divorced and 2 years later he married a sister in the congregation. Everyone talked about how God was blessing him by returning what he lost - a wife and 2 daughters. She took it for ten years and left him too. Committed adultery to get away from him.
He is free in the congregation again to find another sister to abuse.
My point for this is not to ask for pity. But to express the kind of sexual bondage that a lot of JW wives go through. I know I was not alone. I know that the borg is a breeding grounds for men who cannot control their sexual demands. They have little ability to relate to other people - their wives included. And the borg grants them the authority to take what they see as "theirs". To many of these men a wife is simply a tool to satisfy their sexual appetite. Wash the clothes, put food on the table and provide sex on demand. And they know the wives cannot go to the elders and be heard. I was told to do my wifely duty cause I sure wouldn't want to be responsible if he sinned.
I guess raping your wife isn't considered a sin.
I was out of the org and marriage for about 4 years when I found a book on marital rape. I was shocked that there was a name for it. That I wasn't alone. That in fact it had happened to so many other women that it had been studied and was a recognized problem. That was a relief. The borg had branded me a sinner for a one-time event. It gave him absolution for my 15 years and the second wife's 10 years - 25 years of sexual abuse from just one man
Want a figure - estimate minimum 2 times a week for 25 years (2 x 52825 = 2600) holy crow - 2,600 separate acts and he gets absolution.
(1560 during my time with him). Staggers the mind.
The WT org has a lot more to account for when it comes to the issue of sexual abuse in its ranks.
Aspire to inspire before you expire