Emmen.nu – 2nd October 2018
Ex-Jehovah Victoria: ‘I recognize the fear and panic of victims of sexual abuse’
Emmen – On Saturday, the Reclaimed Voices foundation will hold a silent protest action near the headquarters of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Emmer district of Noordbarge. The action is meant to draw attention to victims of sexual abuse within this religious organization.
Ex-Jehovah Victoria from Emmen is also present. She finds it exciting, but she wants to be there anyway. ‘I recognize the fear and panic among the victims.’
Victoria has not been a victim of sexual abuse at Jehovah’s Witnesses. But the eight years she was attached to the religious organization, from the 17th to the 24th, have left a heavy mark on her life and her family.
Faith made its way into her family when her sister came to the family with a Bible in her hand. “She had converted to the Jehovah’s Witnesses and she indicated that she also wanted to help us. That she wanted to give testimony. ” She was fanatic, Victoria recalls. She also tried to convey the sacred fire to her family. Victoria and her mother are sensitive to the message. Her father, a self-proclaimed atheist, did not want to. “I did go over. I was busy with giving meaning at a young age. So I was receptive to that. ”
She was also impressed by the story about armageddon, the end of time. “The world was about to perish. So if I were not on board, it would end badly with me. Yes, I was 17 and very naive and very impressionable. ‘ Faith also heavily stressed the marriage of her parents. “My father did not want anything to do with it. Struggles and arguments about faith were on the way. My parents are therefore ultimately divorced. ”
In her faith community she meets a brother who, at a first glance, approached a suitable candidate for marriage. They get engaged, but Victoria eventually gets doubts. “Actually, I was more in love with the idea of love than with him, I concluded. Actually, I wanted to put a point behind it. But he pointed me to the engagement ring around my finger. That was equal to a promise with God. If I broke with him, God would never forgive me, he told me. I was such a sheep, I believed him on his word. ”
The two married and after two years there was a family expansion with a daughter and a son. But Victoria slowly but surely ended up in a crisis of faith. “In short, I kept on believing that this was the truth. It did not work anymore. I thought it was all so far-fetched and even stupidly brittle here and there. I told my husband that I did not want to join them in the room anymore, as it is called. ‘ The separation then did not take much longer.
In the period thereafter, she gets a lot of brothers and sisters on the floor. Especially in the church, was a frequently heard message. “Otherwise my children would not come into paradise,” I was told. ” She says that she felt very guilty because of this. It felt like she was being emotionally pulled out of a mangle. That was the breaking point: she had to leave. “But leaving faith behind is difficult. You have to let go of a whole world. You do not just do that. One day I turned the gas tap of the oven open. I did not want to, I could not anymore. In the end I decided in one way or another to get my daughter out of school. ‘ She never had regrets later. “I’m glad I was gone.”
Her relationship with her sister also cooled in the same period. “At first she did not want to talk to me about my retirement. Later she told me that I had to come back. But I was rebellious and angry and wanted to do things at last as I liked myself. ” The sister herself also ends up in a crisis. She tells us about her time around that time when it becomes clear that he has misused his own children and those of others. “The relationship with my sister was never easy.” The abuse case led to a new argument. “Do not you see that you can not do that, I told her. Internal justice and perpetrators who are not or hardly punished? ‘
For a brief moment, her sister also seems to turn his back on the Jehovah’s. “As long as there are pedophiles around, I do not want to be there,” she said. After the rehabilitation of her husband, however, she returns again. “Jehovah’s have the truth, she thought. And suppose the end of time comes anyway … I was very disappointed. ” The two sisters have not visited each other for the past two years.
Victoria came into contact with Reclaimed Voices after she spoke with foundation director Raymond Hintjes on an online forum for ex-Jehovahs. Every year she can miss, she has donated to the platform ever since. ‘Children must be better protected. To inspire everyone who had to deal with sexual abuse. That’s what I do it for. I recognize the fear and panic among the victims. I recognize the feeling. ”
Victoria is a fictitious name. The real name and data are known to the editors.
The silent protest action of Reclaimed Voices will take place on Saturday, October 6, near the headquarters of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Emmen. The start is 14.00.
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