JW Bulletin

Jehovah's Witnesses in the Media

Fædrelandsvennen Editor’s Letter – Translation

Reddit post where this originated HERE

Abuses in closed communities

“The Jehovah’s Witnesses get accusations worldwide not to do enough to stop pedophile abusers. Closed churches do not always provide good protection for children.

“A former Norwegian elder brother from a church in southern Norway has been sentenced for an assault and is imprisoned in Spain. The man was caught redhanded while the abuse took place against a four-year-old girl and thus Spanish prosecutors got a good deal. The man was sentenced for this one offence. No more. Although it is alleged that this man may have a long history as an offender.

“The man, now 87 years old, has committed more abuse to family members when he was an elder brother of a Jehovah’s Witnesses church in southern Norway. The church in southern Norway knows them because this broke out when the news of the offence from Spain came to Norway in 2014.

“The conditions that now come to light go back decades. They are outdated, but can still be investigated. A female victim of these abuses says this to the Fædrelandsvennen about the matter: “I thought the elders in our church here in southern Norway had gone to the police and told that the case in Spain has an early story here at home. I can go to the police with my story, but not with others. They should have done that as they said they would, but they did not. It has disappointed me very much. Because I think such a thing never becomes obsolete to the person in question. It’s just as bad the whole life.”

“However, when the congregation in southern Norway heard about the assaults the man should have committed to a number of family members while they were children, it was reported internally in line with the organization’s guidelines instead.

“Sexual assault is crime and it is police cases. The fact that organizations or institutions affected by such episodes try to fix the cases themselves do not provide adequate protection for victims or potential victims. And there must always be focus.

“Our entire community has gained greater transparency and greater seriousness around these issues, but it may be a matter of development in some environments. A desire to dodge down claims to protect the institution or an environment can be a cause. There is a problem when such organizations, religious and others, make guidelines and an internal law, right in the side of the civil society’s legal system. You must get to the bottom of the law and the ethics around this – and if it provides protection for vulnerable children.”

%d bloggers like this: