UK- Jehovah's Witness allow predator to "grill" victim
For immediate release: Friday, May 23, 2014
Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach CA, western regional director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (949 322 7434, firstname.lastname@example.org)
One of the most difficult—but important—things that a survivor of sexual abuse can do is report the crime and put a predator behind bars. That's what the victims in this case did. They worked with law enforcement to ensure that Jonathan Rose was arrested, convicted and jailed for molesting two little girls.
But to the Jehovah's Witnesses, that was not enough to "prove" Rose's guilt. Allowing a convicted—or a credibly accused predator—to "grill" victims is shocking and disgraceful. It breeds fear in victims that they, too, will be unprotected, revictimized and shunned by their faith community if they are ever brave enough to come forward and report crimes to police.
The Jehovah's Witness elders who participated in this shameful activity should immediately remove themselves from any position of authority in the church, apologize to victims, and immediately rewrite any church rules that would allow "inquisitions" like this to continue. Until then, we have to believe that the Jehovah's Witnesses will only continue to protect and embrace child predators at the risk of children globally.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 18,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.