RTV Noord – 20th April 2018
Foundation of abuse victims Jehovah’s Witnesses demands a response from church authorities
The Reclaimed Voices Foundation, the reporting center for sexual abuse at Jehovah’s Witnesses, demands a response from the church community in an open letter.
Co-founder of the foundation is Stadjer Frank Huiting. He himself is also a victim of abuse within the church. Reclaimed Voices reportedly received 276 reports of abuse within the community of Jehovah’s Witnesses so far. ‘Shocking’, Huiting calls this number.
Under conditions in conversation
In November, Jehovah’s Witnesses informed RTV Noord that it was willing to enter into discussions with the members of the foundation under certain conditions.
‘In the meantime, almost four months have passed and we have noticed that you have not heard from you anymore. We seriously question whether you take the problem of sexual abuse within your community seriously, “Reclaimed Voices writes .
We also have the fear that files will be destroyed
‘You will have to communicate’
‘We have the impression that you are out of contact with us. We are very concerned about this. Is this practice an indication of how you will treat abuse victims who no longer belong to your faith community? Minister Dekker has asked you to enter into discussions with victims who have reported to us. In order to comply with this, you will have to communicate with us. ”
The foundation now demands a response from the Jehovah’s Witnesses within two weeks. “The process is being drained. We are worried, “says Huiting. ‘What we see is that governance is not open and transparent. We also have the fear that files will be destroyed. ‘
The spokesperson for the religious community was not available for comment on Friday afternoon.
The abuse within the religious community came to light after publications in Trouw. Huiting wrote his story anonymously. Later he told RTV Noord under his own name what happened to him in his youth.
Huiting revealed that he was not the only one, and that it is taboo within the religious community to file a report with the police.
In November, a spokesperson for Jehovah’s Witnesses told RTV Noord that no figures were available about the number of abuse cases. ‘We do not keep statistics, but it only happens incidentally.’
– Minister Dekker: ‘Jehovah’s witnesses, abuse’
– ‘Do independent research into abuse with Jehovah’s Witnesses’
– Jehovah’s Witnesses want to discuss ‘under conditions’ with the anti-abuse foundation
– ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses should no longer be silent about sexual abuse’
– ‘I was abused for years by the Jehovah’s Witnesses and I am not the only one’
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