Dutch News announced in January 2019 that Utrecht University would be launching an independent inquiry into sexual abuse by the Jehovah’s Witnesses. According to the report, this is just the latest in a series of multiple investigations focused on the Watchtower organization and religion in The Netherlands.
The Telegraaf announced in its report that the university said it wanted to “clarify how the church deals with incidents of abuse within its own community and whether this affects the likelihood of victims coming forward.” In The Telegraaf’s report, it was disclosed that there are currently “nine investigations ongoing into allegations of abuse in the community,” according to the public prosecution service.
“Justice minister Sander Dekker has called for the Jehovah’s Witnesses to set up their own independent inquiry, but the church declined.”
“In a letter to parliament, Dekker said researchers at the university wanted to speak to victims and church leaders about allegations of abuse. The university hopes to conclude its inquiry in the autumn.
“MPs from all parties have called for an independent inquiry into allegations against the church, which has around 30,000 followers across the Netherlands.
“A foundation set up by victims of sexual abuse within the Jehovah’s Witnesses has registered 276 potential cases.
“Dekker said last year that the church should follow the example of the Catholic church in dealing with complaints of sexual abuse. In total, 3,712 people have reported being victims of sexual abuse within the Catholic church to a special hotline set up in 2010.”