Radio Canada International – 17th December 2018
- Témoins de Jéhovah : des victimes d’agressions sexuelles au sein du groupe au Québec demandent que justice soit rendue
Jehovah’s Witnesses: Victims of Sexual Assault in the Quebec Group Demand Justice
Sexually assaulted by her brother at a young age, Lisa Blais is the “voice of the voiceless” as part of the collective action she has launched on behalf of all Quebec victims of alleged sexual assaults on the part of members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses group to which she and her family belonged.
Religious group accused of abandoning victims of sexual assault and protecting abusers
To believe the one who considers herself today as a former follower of the religious group, the victims of sexual aggression on the part of its members are forced to silence.
A muzzling that would be wanted by the central authority that would have set up “strict internal rules, against any form of denunciation” likely to damage the reputation of the group.
As a result, the victims, most of whom were minors at the time of the crime, would be left alone, without recourse or protection, and turned to the courts.
$ 250,000 claimed for moral damages
The thousands of requests for compensation for victims are addressed to both the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Canada and the US parent group, where all the decisions handed down to adherents are taken. the scale of the world.
Jehovah’s Witnesses’ lawyers have been mobilizing for several weeks to defend the religious group. They question the idea that the action of Quebec justice can extend to the decisions of the community in the United States.
The court will continue on December 18 to hear the action that has been requested for several weeks.
The complainants believe that the group’s internal parallel justice system in the form of “Judicial Committees” does not sufficiently protect victims from the risk of re-offending by their perpetrators.
The visible illustration of the inefficiency of such committees, according to Ms. Blais, is that her brother who assaulted her when she was only 16 remained unpunished, despite her denunciations both with her family and her family. religious community.
[VIDEO] – See link to original article.
Previous several elsewhere
This is not the first time that Jehovah’s Witnesses have been singled out.
After Quebec, where several cases of touching and sexual contact with minors have been denounced, other victims in Ontario have emerged from “silence, fear and submission” (Sarah Pilote, a lawyer who defends collective action against the organization in Quebec) “and strongly denounced their executioners.
Two years ago in Newfoundland, a young woman filed a lawsuit against her father and brother who had appeared in court for sexual assault and exploitation.
Several complaints of victims of sexual assault have also been registered in the United States.
In California, the court ordered the Watchtower Society to hand over its list of pedophiles, built from documents held by the company. Since 1997, the leadership of the Witnesses requires that every report of a believer suspected of pedophilia be sent to headquarters.
In Australia, more than 1,000 cases of alleged sexual assault have been reported to the alumni committee, with none of them being truly redirected to police or child protection.
It should be noted that it is the committee of elders, to whom all owe a certain allegiance, who draws up the internal policies and deals with rendering justice in case of aggression or any other problem reported by the faithful.
According to several articles from publications by the Jehovah’s Witnesses group, they have always put forward the idea of protecting young people and children who are victims of sexual assault. The organization defends itself to protect pedophiles to the detriment of their victims and recommends that parents or any other person aware of the facts of sexual assault report the culprit to the authorities. On its website, the group has published a Biblical Policy on Child Protection which sets out its policy on issues relating to the protection of minors.
We can read this:
Child sexual abuse is a perversion. This is usually one or more of the following: sexual intercourse with a child; oral sex or sodomy with a child; caresses on the genitals, breasts or buttocks of a child; voyeurism towards a child; exhibitionism in front of a child; sexual propositions to a child. It can also be sending sex or showing pornography to a minor.
[PHOTO] – The Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Bible Guidance on the Protection of Children is based on Bible verses, as is the case in the following lines.
In this document, when it comes to parents, this also applies to legal guardians or other holders of parental authority. the ancients seek to establish the facts from a biblical point of view. It is a strictly religious procedure conducted by the elders in harmony with the biblical instructions. Its purpose is solely to determine whether the individual concerned may or may not remain Jehovah’s Witness.
If a member of the assembly has committed child abuse and does not repent, he is excommunicated and no longer considered Jehovah’s Witness (1 Corinthians 5:13). The treatment of a child abuse charge by the elders does not replace the treatment of the case by the public authorities.
* all translations provided on JWBulletin.com are for information purposes only and are sourced from automated translation services. These are not checked for accuracy. To ensure accuracy, please refer to the original language text.