Podcast Show Notes
If you, a loved one or a friend has suffered sexual abuse as a Jehovah’s Witness and need help and support then jws4justice.co.nz may be able to help you. Find out more on their website and contact them in confidence.
We also have a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/jws4justice – Please note that this page is taken offline from time to time as Jehovahs Witness repeatedly complain about it and ask for Facebook to remove it. Their time would be better spent cleaning up their own “house” so there was no need for a support page for those abused within the Jehovah Witness church.
You can read the findings of the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional abuse in regard to the Jehovahs Witness here – https://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/case-studies/case-study-29-jehovahs-witnesses
From the evidence presented, the Royal Commission considers the Jehovah’s Witness organisation relies on outdated policies and practices to respond to allegations of child sexual abuse which were not subject to ongoing and continuous review. Included in these was the organisation’s retention and continued application of policies such as the two-witness rule in cases of child sexual abuse which, the Royal Commission considered, showed a serious lack of understanding of the nature of child sexual abuse. It noted the rule, which the Jehovah’s Witness organisation relies on, and applies inflexibly even in the context of child sexual abuse, was devised more than 2,000 years ago.
The Royal Commission found the Jehovah’s Witness organisation’s internal disciplinary system for addressing complaints of child sexual abuse was not child or survivor focused. Survivors are offered little or no choice in how their complaint is addressed, sanctions are weak with little regard to the risk of the perpetrator re-offending.
Finally, the Royal Commission considered the organisation’s general practice of not reporting serious instances of child sexual abuse to policy (sic) or authorities, demonstrated a serious failure on its part to provide for the safety and protection of children.
If this podcast has raised issues for you and you need help, then click on the button below for a list of support services.
Are you a victim of abuse?
If you’d like assistance with
- Finding support
- Reporting your abuse to Police
- Reporting to the New Zealand Royal Commission into Abuse in Care
Then we may be able to provide help. Members of our Network have lived experience in all of these areas and by sharing their experiences and knowledge they can make the road a little easier to navigate. Contact us in confidence.
About The Guests
“I thought that sexual abuse in the Church was only a Catholic thing, then I found out it was happening to Jehovah Witness’s as well”
I’m a former Jehovah’s Witness, and was an elder for some of the time I was a follower. Having left, I’m now an advocate and supporter of abuse victims
and spokesmen’s for jws4Justice. This website was setup:
- To provide a sense of direction and guidance for victims/survivors of all forms of abuse (including sexual, physical, psychological) in any environment connected with congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses in New Zealand, (past or present). The information here will also benefit individuals whose historical cases were previously mismanaged due to the (so-called) “judicial” system of Jehovah’s Witnesses, resulting in harmful or unsatisfactory outcomes.
- To provide relevant resources for anyone questioning the dependability and the moral justice of the beliefs and governing policies of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and in the process, introducing them to a growing, supportive network.
We are here to help you find your path to justice.
About The Host
Liz has a post graduate diploma in social work and professional background in social work practice, social policy, social work training and advocacy. She has held various positions working for churches, hospitals, and statutory social services, working with families, children and those with mental health and addiction illness, before moving into social work training roles and then social policy.
Liz has been a long time advocate for the rights of children and chaired the Law and Children’s Rights Committee that advised on the Children’s Bill of Rights. She has been a member of various groups working to achieve social work training and practice standards, and, change in social services and policy with particular interest in social impact assessment of planning policies, projects and legislation.
Approached by victims of child abuse Liz had supported in the past, she agreed to support their involvement with the Royal Commission into abuse. A founding member of the ‘Network of Survivors of Abuse in Faith-based Institutions and their Supporters’, Liz advocates on their behalf as a spokesperson of the Network. She describes her role as one of advocacy and support for Survivors of abuse as children who need assistance to safely navigate the agencies and processes required to report and access the supports (social, legal and financial) they need.