Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse

by Dissonant15 10 Replies latest watchtower child-abuse

  • Dissonant15

    All states in the US mandate health care workers and teachers to report suspected child abuse to law enforcement. This year our Commonwealth expanded the law to include clergy, and to include a mandatory two hour training on what to look for and how to report, required for all mandatory reporters.

    My coworker at the hospital said she and her husband did the training together, because her husband volunteers in the Sunday school at the church, they required him to take it too.

    I asked several Witnesses when this law came into effect if all the elders and Ms are going to be taking the training and everyone looked at me like I was an alien and they had no idea what the heck I was talking about.

    How are they getting away with this? Does anyone have any insights into this law? Why are the churches complying with having their leadership and lay volunteers do this but JW's are just ignoring it?

    The last time they offered us a "shepherding call" they said they wanted to "talk about any concerns I have." I didn't think anything of it at the time but my husband thinks they were referencing my child abuse conversations. Well I don't care to talk about my concerns with them, I don't want to see their sick filthy lying faces in my house ever.

    I had tried to forget about this, but now that it's on my mind and this time I am fully awake, I believe I will be speaking to my contacts at the Department of Child Welfare.

  • rebelfighter
    I work with a youth group between the ages of 10 and 20. All parents are aware that all adults are trained to be on the look out for physical, sexual and emotional abuse and if we suspect any of the above we call the authorities to investigate. We are very proactive. If nothing is found we are very happy but we are out to protect the children first.
  • GrreatTeacher

    I can tell you that working in the schools in the state of Maryland, we not only have to report abuse, but SUSPECTED abuse. The state makes it clear that it is NOT our job to determine if abuse actually occurred. That is the state's job to determine.

    And I need to personally report it to the state. I cannot just report it to the school system. So, there can be no intermediary. If it were to be found out that I knew of or suspected abuse, but did not report, then I lose my job.

    For example, if a child repeatedly shows up at school with bruises, I would have to report.

    If I overheard students talking about abuse, I would have to report.

    I think this is what makes me the angriest about the Witnesses. They think they can decide whether or not there was abuse.

    That's not their job.

    I know teachers and healthcare providers have to report by law in Maryland, but, unfortunately, I don't think clergy are mandatory reporters.

    This needs to change.

  • truthseekeriam
    In the past they have used the clergy privilege in order to not report. I understand that hasn't been working for them anymore but that doesn't seem to stop them from trying.
  • elderINewton

    To me this is the biggest secret that they hold over every single elder in the world. First and foremost, the watchtower expects:

    1) To follow the letters.

    2) To not ask liability questions.

    Why liability?

    Say for an elder they say that its "confidential talk" - as so they view that information is privileged, so that even countries that have mandatory reporting laws, usually get some clergy exemption. So if your an elder ask yourself, am I exempt? - My own personal lawyer asked me one question, and I was floored, the question was so where is your proof that you are even a member of the clergy? - My reply was that I don't have it and that I did know that brothers who marry have to request it. Without proof, I'm personally liable, and ignorance is not a defense in the eyes of the law. Now, I'm 100% positive, that if the court ever requested such document one would magically appear.

    So even most elders have no proof they are a member of clergy, and as such could (and in my opinion) and should be held accountable for not following the laws as they can not prove they even have any clergy privilege.

    Either way - this information is really hid from all publishers - think about it, when your baptized, your all baptized as ordained ministers of Jehovah's Witnesses, at least they tell you that, but offer dick all proof that you are.

    I'm amazed that I have never even heard of any cases trying to highlight this blatant side stepping of the law.

    Its one of the many reasons I disappeared, just like my lawyer said, they will take your $ before suing the WT. Low and behold we have letters warning elders to shut up so they don't get personally sued.

    So mandatory reporting is useless, when a society side steps the law.

    (I just wonder if the WT spy's will recognize this loophole as I asked them about it directly and was told "its a theocratic organization." - theocratic my ass)

  • LisaRose

    The clergy usually only get an exemption when it is a confessional type of arrangement, one priest, on confessor. Since the JWs do not have this arrangement the courts have usually ruled pentinent privilege does not apply to them. A JC cannot claim pertinent privilege because three elders are involved. All mandatory reporting laws in force do apply.

    The clergy-penitent privilege, clergy privilege, confessional privilege, priest-penitent privilege, clergyman-communicant privilege, or ecclesiastical privilege is an application of the principle ofprivileged communication that protects the contents of communications between a member of the clergy of any religious faith (a “clergy” is a minister, priest, rabbi, or other similar functionary of a religious organization, or an individual reasonably believed to be so by the person consulting him) and a penitent, who shares information in confidence. It stems from the principle of confessional privilege. It is a distinct concept from that of confidentiality (see non-disclosure agreement).


    Something big is coming alright, just as the CO's are saying!! I predict only Eldubs will be considered ordained ministers.....soon???

    The WTBTS has already hem-hawed about who is considered an ordained ministers. First it was everyone, then it was only Eldubs, then everyone. If the Superior Authorities start asking for some kind mandatory reporting, or "proof" of being a Minister, then you can bet your ass some jerk-off Ministerial Servant isn't going to be a Minister.

    The clergy/penitent relationship is total BS! Why?? The Eldubs tell everyone!! They tell other Eldubs, then the wives find out! Sometimes, the Eldubs tell other Eldubs from differing congregations! There is no confidentiality!


  • rebel8

    Look into the law in your commonwealth. I am sure you can find it easily online. Look for mandated reporter laws and trainings--use those keywords.

    Then blow in the jw clergy for not taking the training.

    You will be doing a good thing to protect jw children.

  • HomebytheSea
    Aside from the importance of getting mandatory reporting made into law in all states, I can't believe elder's don't report just because it's the right thing to do. Their ability to do the right thing is nonexistent! They've turned into robots!!
  • Heaven

    The Borg have already stated they feel child abuse is a sin not a crime and therefore, won't report it unless mandated to do so. They hide behind a scripture that states don't take your neighbour to court.

    If they can fly under the radar on this, they will. It's all about 'not dragging Jehovah's name through the mud' which is just a cop out to not take action as this will cost them time and money. They care nothing for the membership, particularly the women and children.

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