RTV Noord – 16th August 2018
Stadjer reports against Jehovah’s Witnesses because of sexual abuse
Frank Huiting from Groningen appears to be one of the people in our country who has reported sexual abuse against the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
In his youth, Huiting was abused for years by a member of this church. Together with a number of fellow sufferers, he founded Stichting Reclaimed Voices last year to denounce sexual abuse at the Jehovah’s.
Earlier, Huiting thought that filing a complaint was not useful for him because the abuse was too long ago. But now it appears that ‘prescription’ does not apply to cases of serious sexual abuse, he says.
‘For the greater importance’
‘I also do this to send a signal to politicians in The Hague and the Public Prosecution Service to draw the attention to the broader context of sexual abuse within this community’, says Huiting. ‘I report from the motivation for the greater importance.’
‘So it is not me in the first place to file a complaint against the perpetrator. On the contrary. I am concerned with the context in which we look away from sexual abuse. ‘
Minister Sander Dekker announced this week that there is a criminal investigation into sexual abuse at the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Dekker wrote that Wednesday in response to parliamentary questions.
Among other things, Dekker writes that in a limited number of cases the Jehovah’s wrongly appealed to the privilege. That is the right to refuse to answer questions from a judge.
‘The right of non-disclosure comes to individuals and not to organizations. A denomination can therefore not appeal to the privilege, ‘the minister writes.
“We still wonder if that is a criminal investigation into perpetrators or sexual abuse within the community of Jehovah’s Witnesses,” says Huiting.
Doof pot culture
Reporting a criminal offense can only be done against individuals, not against organizations, such as a denomination. But Huiting hopes that in addition to the criminal investigation there will also be an investigation into the ‘cover-up culture’ at the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Pleading for research
According to Reclaimed Voices, within the Jehovah’s Witnesses, hundreds of cases of sexual abuse occur in our country alone. The foundation advocates a study such as the Deetman committee that also did with the Roman Catholic Church.
‘That research must lead to awareness. Not only in society, but also in the administration of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. They say to see it as incidents so far, we want to break through that mindset. ‘
Through Reclaimed Voices, five people have reported, including Huiting itself. In addition, according to the Public Prosecution, four separate declarations have been received. All these matters are assessed individually, by different parquet floors
But according to Huiting there have been a number of declarations. But according to Huiting the number of cases of abuse is much higher, according to the reports at Reclaimed Voices.
“In the end it is child safety
Frank Huiting – abuse victim“
‘Sexual abuse is a controversial topic, people do not like to talk about it. It is often something from the past, sometimes people have found their way there. They have gotten their lives on the ride and do not want to be confronted with it anymore. But they think it is important to report to the foundation. ‘
Huiting hopes that more people will file a report. ‘In the first place for yourself, but also to serve the greater importance. Ultimately, it is child safety. ‘
No reaction Jehovah’s
The national leadership of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Emmen says that he has ‘no objection’ to an investigation by the Public Prosecution Service.
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