Jehovah’s Witness Sexual Abuse Victims

Jehovah’s Witness Sexual Abuse Victims

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Sexual abuse is not limited to any specific religion or organization. In recent years, there have been a significant number of reported cases of sexual abuse from former members of the Jehovah’s Witness organization – a religious sect that many people consider to have a cult-like status.


Sexual abuse is defined by the American Psychological Association as being ‘unwanted sexual activity, with perpetrators using force, making threats or taking advantage of victims not able to give consent. It can take many different forms, including:


  • Unwanted kissing or touching

  • Unwanted rough or violent sexual activity

  • Rape or attempted rape

  • Restricting access to birth control or refusal to use it


Sexual abuse can take place between adults, or as is often the case, occurs when an adult sexually abuses a child. It’s important to recognize that not all sexual assaults are violent attacks, but they can also be systematic events that occur quietly and discreetly.


There has been evidence suggesting that the Jehovah’s Witness organization has been aware of the ongoing pattern of abuse within its institution for more than two decades. However, the organization has a policy to maintain internal reports of child abuse and discourage its members from reporting any abuse to outside authorities. This policy means that the institution enables sexual predators to have access to their victims.


The "Two Witness Rule"


Jehovah’s Witnesses have a policy known as the ‘Two Witness Rule’ which states that two material witnesses must give testimony against an alleged sex abuser for any action to be taken. However, in practice, there is very rarely any second witness for sexual abuse since most abuse occurs 1-1 between the perpetrator and victim.


While the purpose of the policy is to prevent or limit false allegations against members of the institution, this ‘Two Witness Rule’ actually enables perpetrators to continue to interact with their victims without consequence. The Jehovah Witness organization states that this policy applies onto to congregational discipline and not to whether a crime is reported to the authorities. However, it remains that many sexual abuse victims still find it very difficult to report their situation to outside authorities, either at the time or years down the line.


The church’s culture of secrecy means that parents are left completely unaware that their children could be left in the care of sexual predators, who may not limit themselves to a single victim. This enables abusers to go for months, years, and even decades without facing justice for their crime. Children may even grow up to feel as though this behavior is normal and acceptable, potentially repeating it themselves when they reach adulthood.


Sexual Abuse Is a Crime


Despite the policies within the Jehovah’s Witness organization, sexual abuse is a crime and abusers can face many months or years incarcerated if they are convicted. Victims can also pursue the organization itself for their negligence in allowing the abuse to happen. Doing so won’t only provide you with closure and compensation for the trauma that you have experienced, but by lifting the lid on such practices, you could help to prevent such abuse within the sect in the future.


If you are a victim of Jehovah’s Witness sexual abuse, you too deserve justice. Our compassionate and discreet sexual abuse lawyers are here to help you create a case that could see your abuser face the consequences of their actions. You could even claim compensation for the events that you’ve experienced that could help you to get your life back on track. Contact The Law Offices of Daniel Weltin PC in San Leandro, CA at (510) 319-1904 today for your free consultation. 

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