Saturday, June 28, 2008

What Happens When A Case of Child Abuse Is Reported To The Watchtower?

The Legal Department at Bethel is immediately notified and the first thing they do is send out this questionnnaire to be filled out by the Presiding Overseer. Their main concern is certainly not the victim. It is to make sure that the Society will not be held responsible.


converser said...

The pages shown are part of a document named "Child Abuse Telememo." To clarify, this document was to be filled out by a Watchtower Legal Department staff member when an elder in a Jehovah's Witness congregation phoned in to report an accusation of child abuse as required by the Watchtower Society. I don't think it was mailed to elders to fill out.

This information and more about the cover-up of child abuse within the congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses can be found in the digital CD, "Secrets of Pedophilia in an American Religion, Jehovah's Witnesses in Crisis" by Barbara Anderson

grissom6471 said...

There is no coverup of anything in Jehovah's Witnesses.

People can report whatever they want to whomever they want.

And it is not the elders' responsibility to report anything since they are not witnesses to any abuse.

Anonymous said...

I am grateful to you for publishing this telememo, which I think is very interesting.

First of all, it confirms what Watchtower sources have been saying all along that "whether others who have knowledge make a report or pursue the matter legally is a personal decision". So opposers' claims that victims are threatened with disfellowshipping for reporting the crime are proved conclusively to be false!

Secondly, the accusation that elders violate reporting laws is also disproved by this memo. In reporting states, the memo proves that they are directed to report the abuse, if the perpetrator, victim and others refuse to do so. They must even keep "proof that a report of child abuse was made in compliance with the law." Thank you for making this so clear!

Finally, I do not agree with your comment that "their main concern is certainly not the victim". The memo specifically asks "what efforts are being made to protect the victim?" directes that positive steps should be taken to prevent further abuse" and that "the elders should monitor the situation carefully for the protection of other potential victims".

If you would like further information about Jehovah's Witnesses' Child Protection Policy, please visit this site