Questions for elders to think about in child abuse cases

by purrpurr 7 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • purrpurr

    Again from the Shepard the flock book, this is about dealing with child abuse, it gives the elders points to think about and discuss when deciding on child abuse cases...

    "(5) What is the

    level of his spirituality? (6) Do all the elders on the

    body believe that he can be trusted with children? The following questions should be answered with re-

    gard to the accuser: (1) What is the level of maturity

    of the child or youth? (2) Is he (or she) describing

    conduct that one his age would not normally know

    about? (3) Is the child or his parents known to be se-

    rious, mature? (4) Is his memory consistent, or is it

    intermittent, or does it involve repressed memories?

    (w95 11/1 pp. 25-26) (5) What is the reputation of

    the parents? (6) Are they spiritually and emotionally


    What does the "spirituality" of a child have to do with whether they can be believed? What does their "maturity" or "seriousness " have to do with anything? What does the reputation or spiritually of the parents have any bearing on what happened to the child??

    This basically means that a young child from a family not in favour with the elders would not be be lived. And an abuser who is in favour with the elders would be believed!

  • Darkknight757

    It was said of a daughter of a family that moved into my hall that she claimed she was molested by an elder. We were told to watch out for her because “she liked to lie a lot and tell stories for sympathy.”

    I could just tell by her attitude and way she carried herself that something was seriously wrong, but because her family was “spiritually weak” they were never taken seriously.

    So yea this kind of thing probably happens more than any of us know. Just because a person is judged as “spiritually weak” doesn’t mean they can’t be trusted.

  • Vidiot

    I think it's a foregone conclusion by now that the WT leadership doesn't really view (and never truly has viewed) children as anything other than miniature adults.

  • Wild_Thing

    Elders should not be investigating child abuse cases at all. They are not qualified. These should be their new instructions when abuse is suspected or reported:

    1. Call the authorities.

    2. Protect the victim until the authorities arrive.

    Done. They can disfellowship or interview the perp. Fine. They absolutely should not be allowed to interview children. And yes, teenagers are children, too.

  • LevelThePlayingField

    I kind of think about it this way.

    While waiting a traffic light, a tree falls onto a car, crushing the young man behind the wheel. The police ask the parents of the young man if he was "mature" for his age. They ask about his reputation and if he was a good student in school.

    Then with this information gathered and in-hand, they make a determination if the young man was at fault or if it was just an unforeseen occurrence.

    That's what I think of when the elders book asks these stupid-ass questions. If there's a crime, you don't evaluate the victim, you evaluate the facts.

  • purrpurr

    Yes, the whole of these questions seem primed for enabling the elders to side with the abuser and blame the victim, "oh you were abused little one? Well if your father hadn't let his ministry hours fall maybe you wouldn't have been!"

  • stuckinarut2

    Yes, once again, the perceived level of "spirituality" is seen of more value in such a report of abuse than anything else! It is like more credibility is given to the report if it comes form a "spiritual" source"!


    Because as we all know, the culture within the JW circle of "spiritual ones" is to "leave matters in Jehovah's hands".

    This point also rings true with the situation described in the elders book later on when it states that "if an elder has committed an offence that is worthy of DF but the act took place many years back, and he still has "jehovah's blessing", then it DOES NOT need to be dealt with by a Judicial Committee."

    YET, if it was just a Normal JW, you can bet they would be called to task for it!!

  • Vidiot

    All passive-aggressively engineered to, ultimately...

    a) ...avoid involving outside authorities, and...

    b) ...keep the rank-and-file from realizing that it's a problem.

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