OR--New suit says Jehovah's Witnesses hid abuse
For immediate release: Monday, Dec. 1
We applaud the brave San Diego woman who is suing Jehovah’s Witness officials in Oregon for acting recklessly, callously and deceitfully about a predator in the church.
Velicia Alston is a hero for seeking justice against a Hillsboro Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation. Her courage will help prevent more child sex crimes and cover ups in this incredibly irresponsible and secretive religious group.
For decades, Jehovah’s Witness officials have silenced victims, witnesses and whistleblowers by threatening to “disfellowship” them. This must stop. Caring adults welcome reports of suspected abuse. Heartless adults discourage such reports.
We hope that every single person who may have seen, suspected or suffered child sex crimes or cover ups in Jehovah’s Witness congregations finds the strength, like Velicia has, to do what our civil and moral duty requires – use the justice system to expose wrongdoers, protect kids, deter crimes and start healing.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We were founded in 1988 and have more than 20,000 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.