Sex abuse stumped elder

Jehovah’s Witness was unsure how to handle case
Toronto Sun, Sep. 17, 2002

An elder of the Shelburne

During the meeting, the father confessed he violated his daughter.

Cairns and Brown had not dealt with child abuse before and were unsure how to handle it — especially the requirement to report it to secular authorities, Brown said.

“We didn’t know who to refer the plaintiff to, we didn’t know who to report the abuse to,” he said.

“We have a young woman, not living at home, 19 or 20 years old. We had determined there was no immediate threat. We wondered how to proceed.”

Brown said they wrote to the Watchtower society, the Witnesses’ governing body, asking for advice.

As they waited for a response, other church elders became alarmed they had not reported the case to the authorities, Brown said.

He added the division within the congregation became a problem at the end of January 1990 while a committee was being formed to punish the woman’s father.

The committee revoked his church privileges and told him to report to a doctor and to Children’s Aid.

The Toronto Sun is not naming the woman or her family because she is a victim of sexual abuse.

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This post was last updated: Friday, December 16, 2016 at 9:34 AM, Central European Time (CET)