Chrónica Vida – 11th January 2017
Jehovah’s Witnesses order to resolve cases of abuse of children internally
The cult avoids direct police intervention despite scandals around the world and the demands of victims
The Jehovah’s Witnesses urge to solve cases of abuse of minors internally. The cult dome avoids direct police intervention despite the scandals that have arisen in congregations around the world. A new review of the child protection policy urges the elderly to inform, and gives them the ultimate responsibility to inform the security bodies if they see it necessary.
According to an internal document that Global Chronic has been able to access , the Dome of the Witnesses in the United Kingdom has reported a reform of the child protection procedures.
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This text has been communicated to congregations in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and will be effective in Spain shortly.
The elderly inform …
The update incorporates some new features. If any member of the congregation is aware of abusive behavior , they should inform the elders (pastors). These, in turn, will bring it to the attention of the legal department of the structure.
According to the new internal instruction, communication must be made “regardless of the age of the victim or the alleged aggressor at the time of the attack, or the one they now have, and whether the accusations are well founded or not.”
… and the legal leadership decides
Once the situation is transmitted, two things must happen, according to the leadership of the Witnesses . “An elder prepared from the legal department will provide a sense in which to act and spiritual support to the congregation,” the document adds.
Afterwards, the management will launch a scriptural investigation of the case. The inquiries include the controversial confrontations or judicial committees of the congregation, in which elders question the infant about the supposed episode of abuse .
With the current reform, minors can declare without their alleged aggressor being present.
The police depend
Despite the fact that the renewed guidelines call for the protection of minors from the congregations , updating them remains timid in terms of police intervention.
The dome of the Witnesses leaves to the criterion of the elders the denunciation before the nonreligious authorities “if the minor is in risk”. Both the parents of the children allegedly assaulted and any member of the congregation are authorized by the cult to denounce.
At no time do the guidelines mention the obligatory nature of going to the security forces . Nor does it detail what will happen if the legal department of the Watchtower demonstrates the abuse, nor what is the result of the internal courts or investigations, nor if its conclusions will be sent to the security bodies.
The updating of the guidelines against the abuse of minors within the Jehovah’s Witnesses is far from what the victims have requested.
In the case of Spain, the AbusosTJ collective, which brings together victims of aggressions and people who support them, has called for a reform of protocols in depth to avoid internal courts and to ensure the integral protection of children of the millenarian denomination.
The group has launched support telephone 91.489.09.83 and has requested access to the secret archives of the cult in the national headquarters of Ajalvir (Madrid). Soon prepare more actions.
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