The handling of child abuse allegations
When a crime has been alleged, it must be reported to the police. The victim and the elders have no idea whether someone has abused in the past, or will abuse in the future. The authorities are equipped to deal with this.
By not reporting, the people involved become accomplices in the crime, and should be held responsible for any damage resulting from their inaction.
Oh, for Christ's Sake. It is totally obvious when someone wants to deflect attention from what's really going on. Like the examples stated in the op.
I just get a feeling in my gut about these guys who do this. Y'all know damned well we are talking about REAL pedophiles, not statutory rape.
It seems the possibility of more lawsuits makes some people pretty nervous.
I don't have the patience to dance around it.
I'm confused why Sir82 is rightly commended for a sensible approach but Landy is being mauled for taking the same position.
In ALL cases of child abuse within the JW organization or elsewhere- the police authorities should be contacted FIRST - before elders or the WT legal department are contacted, end of discussion, period mark, exclamation point. The protection of abused children is FOREMOST- not the JW " reputation " or " financial concerns " - child abuse is a felony crime with long years of prison time as a penalty- child abuse is not just a " sin " - it's a serious crime and it's not within elders, priests, or religious leaders of any faith's place or power to absolve or " forgive " or PREVENT justice and laws of the land to punish these child molesters. Peace out, Mr. Flipper
Interesting choice for scenarios, very odd choices. These seem a bit leading. All allegations that sexual abuse or unwanted sexual activities should go directly to the police, do not involve the elders. This is a crime and as we have been told they are not police.Then go to a professional that has been trained to help with the healing process for the attack. If after all these have been done and you feel that you personally are in need of solely spiritual help, and you believe that the elders are qualified to offer that help go to them with the understanding that they are only to deal with your spiritual well being. There are to be no discussions related to the perpetrator nor the crime you or anyone else were a victim of.
When you involve "the congregation/ elders" you are in danger of being DFD for gossiping or whatever else they want to call it.
You have more chance of being DFD for being a victim than being a perpetual.
That should also be a crime.
Thanks Shepherless for trying to give solutions to the scenarios instead of just spouting rhetoric.I am trying to be objective, Landy. I am no fan of you.
I can't think of anywhere in the UK that does have mandatory reporting, and the police simply won't be interested if the victim is not wanting to press charges.
As above it's not practical to CRB 8 million JWs and it's difficult to say when one member may be alone with a child, especially as abuser will create the situation so that they can be. So what do you do to safeguard other kids in the congregation?
Comments in response:
1. I didn't follow ARC in detail, but I think there was mandatory reporting in 3 states. Watchtower still did not report, for some reason. Perhaps someone else here knows better.
2. "Police simply wont be interested": the Police make a note on the record of any complaint, even if they fail to pursue the matter. And that is really important in the fight against pedophiles.
3. Nobody suggests CRB'ing 8 million JW's. Only those who are granted unaccompanied access to children.
4. I am not someone who thinks that Watchtower is at fault every time a JW pedophile commits a crime. However, Watchtower theology creates an environment virtually unique in Christendom for pedophiles. Potential pedophiles are probable less than 1% of the population, according to a report I hear on the radio a few years ago. Yet they seek out environments that allow them to predate. Naive "bow to elders" JW's and the 2 witness rule are probably nirvana for such types.
You mentioned, Make it clear to the congregation that only those with the relevant clearance are allowed unaccompanied with children.
I wanted to know the impact of the clearance. I can understand the clearances for kindergartens and schools.
As a rough statistics that I read, 89% of child abuse cases are by someone the child knows (39% parents & 50% relatives/church members). How can clearances be provided to known relatives and family members? Is having an appropriate clearance a surety that that person won’t indulge in child abuse?
Regarding reporting to the police, I know of a case where Elders reported the abuse case to the police against the parent’s wishes. However due to rampant corruption in the legal system here, the case became messier day by day eventually causing much financial and emotional distress to the victim and her family. To this day, the family and many congregation members accuse the elders for not investigating and solving the case themselves and pushing their job to the Police.
I have been to your country. We live in very different countries. I think your country is fantastic in many ways. However, we have much more faith in our Police in our country than it seems in yours. Also, in my country, the process for getting approval to be unaccompanied with children is so strict, child care centers have trouble getting staff.
That does not satisfactorily answer your question. My (quite devout) JW wife is pragmatic enough to know that no adult whatsoever is left alone with any of our kids. (Thankfully, she thinks the elders are well-meaning idiots; she is brighter than most of them.) I think the biggest and most dangerous (but far from only) problem with Watchtower is the concept that elders are somehow magic and beyond reproach. They are human, and evil ones may be lurking amongst them.
Definitely no one at the congregation/organization is trained to handle a possible crime. The legal system have specially trained people who handle such cases. That was not always the case in times gone by, but since my time in law enforcement, in the mid 80's, there were and continue to be specially trained people.
We are not qualified to investigate nor have the resources the legal system does to take it further, they have the experience and knowledge of the law.
Are you telling me if that the WTS is qualified to handle, physical assaults, robberies, burglaries, murders....I hope not. But these are felonies and if it is to be judged a misdemeanor, the WTS is not authorized to do it.
So tell the legal authorities first, let them do their authorized job. Then tell the elders and let them decide what the spiritual aspects are.
In addition the society should establish an independent contact point, as many churches have done. People can report abuse or suspicious behavior, without immediately being confronted with the alleged abuser, as this is very traumatic for all victims. And reporting to the Police should ALWAYS be the 1st action, and congregation members are to be made aware that ALL reports of child abuse will always be immediately reported to the police.
NThanks Blondie and Mrs Flipper.
I was also thinking of this when I was working, the JW'S are a United States religion started here and headquartered here as Trey Bundy brings our in his report from December. Almost all Americans feel child rape is a crime, especially due to grassroots organizations as SNAP for shining a light on it.
I got to thinking what am I doing while I was working, getting upset as some person on a website who insults, belittles, swears, details, train wrecks with page after page after page of debates.
This person is so illiterate and uneducated that he/she has not heard of the broadcasting networks NPR and PBS. What am I doing? Why did this illiterate, uneducated person make me so upest that spends his time watching reruns of West Wing.
It's because this is such a serious crime. Child molesters destroy children, they do not die right away, they die a very, very slow death. Many are alcoholics go into drugs or prostitution. Their whole lives are destroyed.
For uneducated people to down play, debate, insult, swear and run page after page of their idea's, destory threads to the point that the topic that was started with is so lost. It's one thing when people have honest questions and want honest answers.
Landy and RO do not want that, they clearly have their own agenda and that's seems to me to be confessing the crime of child rape. For all we know they could be living and working at the JW headquarters in Patterson NY as WT attorneys.
I have to realize that there are many on my side, many on this board get it, that's why these threats run so long trying to reason with the unreasonable..
But mostly I have to realize that it's getting out. No matter what Landy and RO do and say they cannot stop the newspaper and tv ad's. They cannot stop Trey Bundy, NPR.
Thing's are changing and the WT is afraid, the elders in my hall are afraid of me as the CO told Why if I am some nut case as Landy calls me.. The reason why is they do not know when the next Candice Conto will come foreword and they have been clearly allowing child molesters with children.
I need to back away from getting upset because that's what thoes who support the WT want and then for me to lose hope that this will ever change, which if you go back and read Landy's post's is what he say's.
This is not going away. Trey Bundy is not going away. SNAP is not going away.