Jehovah's Witnesses will pass an 'anti-abuse course' for minors in Barcelona
The School of Elders 2017 will teach cult pastors to deal with allegations of sexual assault
Jehovah 's Witness pastors will pass an anti-abuse course for minors. The School of Elders 2017 starts next Monday in the Hall of Assemblies of Sant Quirze del Vallès (Barcelona) in order to teach the elders, the people who lead a congregation, to deal with alleged sexual assaults to minors. The sessions will disseminate the instructions sent by the Witnesses in the United Kingdom on sexual offenses with children within the denomination, whose publication advanced Crónica Global.
The guidelines, which bypass direct allegations to the security forces and invite them to resolve cases internally, will now arrive in Spain. They will do so through the Schools of Elders, which will be attended by invitation.
The clinic of the millenarian cult will not be opened. The leadership of the denomination warns that journalists and base members, the so-called publishers, will not be admitted.
Local elders who can enter the Hall will listen to instructors appointed by Jehovah's Witnesses National Headquarters. These teachers will be mostly circuit overseers or members of the national headquarters and their task will be to transmit the reformed policy of protection to children of the religious group, which in Spain has more than 111,000 followers.
Before, attendees should show their invitations and accreditations at the door to avoid unwanted intrusions in the training sessions.
It should be recalled that the new policy on protection of the child of Witnesses, communicated on 1 January by London Headquarters, introduces some changes in the procedures for the training of such cases.
The dome of the denomination now asks that two elders immediately communicate to the legal department any case or complaint of abuse within the cult. For their part, the headquarters of each country will support congregations where alleged episodes of sexual assault occur to a minor.
The denunciation to the security forces, however, is not mentioned in the memorandum sent to the British Isles groups. It is only mentioned in the case that the minor is in danger or reserves this right to the parents, if they see fit, or to the legal department of the witnesses.
ABUSES IN SPAIN
The winter school of the Witnesses will be held from Monday to Friday in Sant Quirze del Vallès. The sessions will coincide with new actions of the AbusosTJ group campaign, a group of people who provide coverage and support to former cult members who have reported sexual abuse in congregations in Spain.
The citizen group has asked for help to the Justice Commission of the Congress of Deputies , opened a telephone helpline and resolution of doubts and has demanded to the national headquarters of the Witnesses in Ajalvir (Madrid) to declassify and to deliver the files of their cases, since the procedure of the religious group obliges to write down and keep the documents of the internal investigations.