Uneven Child Abuse Coverage in Australia?

On July 24, 2020, Catholic Weekly published an article by Margaret Doumit for their Australian readers. She pointed out that media reporting was clearly unbalanced because they compared the number of wrongful acts by the Catholic Church within the country to similar child abuse cases by Jehovah’s Witnesses.

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Queensland: Clergy Who Don’t Report May Go to Jail

ABC News in Australia reported on September 8, 2020, that new laws were approved by the Queensland Parliament that “will force members of the clergy to report known or suspected cases of abuse to police”. This changes the rules for most religious organizations to notify authorities when they know of incidents of child abuse. They are no longer able to use “the sanctity of confessional” as a defense to ignore or hide child sex abuse matters.

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Three Abused as Children Tell Their Stories

Do we really have any idea how many children have been mistreated and sexually abused over the past fifty or sixty decades? Not unlike a horrific disease that can not be seen or detected until thousands have been infected, child abuse involving Jehovah’s Witness youth and families seems to have been, and continues to be, a worldwide and expanding problem within Witness families and congregations. And now another horror story comes to us from Wales in the British Isles.

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Jehovah’s Witnesses Reject Australia’s Redress Scheme

On June 28, 2020, Australia’s ABC NEWS reported that Jehovah’s Witnesses and five other institutions were specifically and publicly named by the Australian Federal Government for failing to sign up to the National Redress Scheme for victims of institutional child sexual abuse. Identified organizations had until June 30, 2020, to join the “redress scheme.” They had been warned that the government would identify them and also remove the benefits of their “charitable status.”

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Highlights: Australian Government Apology to Victims

The following report presents parts of the speech given by Scott Morrison, the Australian prime minister, as he delivered the “National apology to victims and survivors of institutional child sexual abuse” at Parliament House on October 22, 2018. Several resources that included videos available online and Australian newspaper reports were used to compile the following presentation of his speech. It has been slightly edited for improved readability.

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