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.
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.
The following information is an important Swiss Press Release of July 8, 2020, translated into English. (Page one contains the basics of the ruling and also provided is a link to the other eight pages.)
In Australia, according to the Mirage news source reports, the Queensland Government is urging participation by all religious organizations and other groups named in the National Redress Scheme. The Government made it clear that includes the New York-based Watchtower’s Australian branch leadership.
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.”
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.
Editor’s note: The following article was published on July 25, 2018, by New Zealand’s The SPINOFF news. We feel that it presents a clear and accurate report and an outline of the issues involved as seen by that country’s population and leaders.
The following article was published by Sputnik International in 2018. We held onto it for longer than normal to see if the situation would change dramatically within a few months. We feel that it has been long enough and now want to share it with our readers. It’s just another example proving the sad fact that child abuse within Jehovah’s Witness congregations was (and continues to be) a problem worldwide.