Canada - Abuse allegations in Newfoundland casting a cloud over Jehovah's Witnesses
Well, those WT lawyers might be getting a rude awakening soon...along with all the Canadian elders who listened to them for advice. And anyone else who was aware that there were child abuse allegations in the congregations and didn't report it. Legally, it is not up to the victim or family to report - it is anyone who has knowledge of it.
As a trained crisis interventionist, who worked on a rape crisis line, I can state FOR SURE that what OC quoted above, and earlier, is the truth across Canada. This does not vary from province-to-province. Although few people have ever been charged, ALL ADULTS who have knowledge of child neglect/abuse are require to report, and can be charged criminally for failure to do so. (If you doubt this, consult a lawyer or the RCMP; that's who trained us, along with therapists and such, and I have the paperwork somewhere.)
The courts and Crown may choose to hold those in positions of authority with children, such as church officials, scout leaders, teachers, hockey coaches (you catch my drift) to a standard of higher accountability, but we ALL have a duty to report. The end. tal
EDIT: As Rape Crisis line workers, we also had a duty to inform the child (as soon as we determined it was such) and immediately call 9-1-1 and have the police to the residence. FYI
talesin: Yes, Canada needs a Royal Commission - one that is not going after a politician - people would get behind this. The ARC is a good example to follow, and like I said, people are bored with political corruption. We need something to once again make the press WAKE UP, for the sake of the children.
Actually, the chances of an actual Royal Inquiry being called in Canada 'just' because of the JWs and child abuse, is pretty small, in fact, I would say non-existent. Even in Australia, the JWs were part of a much, much larger inquiry that examined many institutions, not just religions.
Royal Commissions/Inquiries in Canada are not just about politicians - the most recent commission investigated the residential schools - the Truth and Reconciliation Report.
Canada has been dragging its heels for over a decade on calling a national inquiry into a much larger problem than how a small American sect handles their systemic child abuse - many Canadians have been calling for an inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women. Only recently has the wheels been starting to creak forward on that. So, the chances of the Canadian government getting stimulated to act on child abuse in the JWs is pretty remote. And, as has been said - Canada's mandatory reporting laws don't need scrutiny. They are already pretty good.
Any inquiry at this point in Canada should be criminal and/or civil in nature. Much of the investigative work into the JWs and the WTS has already been done in Australia.
For any of ya Canadians out there - class action law suits receive favourable response up here. I can think of a certain lawyer that just LOVES to get his teeth into class actions and has taken on many large Canada-wide cases. He has a certain reputation...but he gets the job done. Heh...I would love to see ol' Tony face off the Watchtower lawyers.
I think class action would be more expedient for the victims than an inquiry would be.
talesin: EDIT: As Rape Crisis line workers, we also had a duty to inform the child (as soon as we determined it was such) and immediately call 9-1-1 and have the police to the residence. FYI
Talesin, I worked for a bit with kids at risk. Whenever one of them said "I need to talk to you but you have to promise not to tell anyone", I always told them that I could not and would not keep certain things secret - so they knew up front that not all secrets can be kept.