SNAP asks Jehovah’s Witnesses: “What about survivors of child abuse?”

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Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and the Ipswich Star have reported another Jehovah’s Witness pedophile has been dealt with and that in this case – given a UK sex offender’s prevention order.

After serving seven years in prison for child abuse while he was an elder, William Rogers was released in October 2000 and was required to report under the (UK) Sexual Offences Prevention Act. In 2006, after failing to report, it was discovered that he was in the Dominican Republic and was declared “wanted” by authorities.

In January 2014, Rogers returned to the UK and was arrested. He admitted that he had continued to abuse children as a Jehovah’s Witness and teacher throughout the eight years he was living in the Caribbean. The prevention order limits Rogers’ contact with children.

But what about the survivors of the abuse?

SNAP is asking:

“Will his Jehovah’s Witness colleagues and supervisors, both in the UK and Dominican Republic, do the right thing and aggressively seek out others who he hurt?”

And expresses their hope that:

“. . . every single Jehovah’s Witness who saw, suspected or suffered Rogers’ crimes will find the strength to contact their local authorities, not the local elders.”

Could this have been prevented? After all, this is not the first time that the Watchtower Society has been asked to account for their actions. Watchtower critic Barbara Anderson notes (referring to other similar cases) in Secrets of Pedophilia in an American Religion:

It is the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses who establish the policies and who dictate practices for Jehovah’s Witnesses. That Body operates through various corporate entities, primarily Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc., and Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, Inc. The Plaintiffs charged in their lawsuits that the Jehovah’s Witnesses assumed a duty to protect children in their organization but they failed to exercise reasonable care and common sense policies in fulfilling that duty. For example, they failed to enact a policy forbidding unsupervised one-on-one contact between elders or ministerial servants and children. They permitted children to go out in door-to-door ministry alone with male members and encouraged parents in the congregations to allow their children to attend un-chaperoned Bible study with adult males (elders/ms) and allowed these men to “counsel” children without any supervision.

 

More details can be found here:

SNAP is an independent, confidential network of survivors of institutional sexual abuse and their supporters: Link

Ipswich Star article: Link

More about Jehovah’s Witness and Child Abuse at Barbara Anderson’s website: Link

JWsurvey’s section on child abuse and Jehovah’s Witnesses: Link

 

Susannah

About Susannah

"Susannah," JWReport's News and Opinion Editor, is very familiar with the Watchtower Society and its leaders past and present. An experienced editor and writer, she was born and raised in the UK where she was an active Jehovah's Witness until she was 28. She now lives and works in southern Europe.

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