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Bible-Based Child Protection Packet Released

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It was announced among other announcements tonight, but it was rushed since the brother was running out of time since someone went overtime on a part.  So not everyone heard it.  I was talking a little while ago to someone and she didn't hear the part about the child abuse packet although that part did get read. 

 

At least letters from the Branch and Head Quarters are usually put up on a board on a wall in the Kingdom Hall and brothers and sisters do go back there and look.  Although that wasn't mentioned tonight like it usually is, but people will still look at the letter especially since it got read fast and there was a lot of different information.  Also, I am telling some friends.  Also,  at least, some brothers and sisters in my congregation probably did hear that part and many know others in different congregations too.

So, one way or another, my congregation will find out about it.

 

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1 hour ago, Brother Jack said:

It said that the information is reviewed at least once a year. Does anybody know when this was first released?

I recall it saying it would be reviewed every three years. It was first released Wednesday, but it has been in the works since probably late 2015 I'd say.

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This document is great. I think it should go one step further. I think one could add that any elders engaged in trying to coerce a victim to remain quiet or cover such an issue over are being accessories to a gross sin as well as tainting Jehovah's name and are at risk of losing their eligibility for eldership for life. The document does make it clear that elders need to take the issue seriously and report them, but I think it would be good if consequences for lack of compliance were also mentioned.

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10 hours ago, ChocoBro said:

This document is great. I think it should go one step further. I think one could add that any elders engaged in trying to coerce a victim to remain quiet or cover such an issue over are being accessories to a gross sin as well as tainting Jehovah's name and are at risk of losing their eligibility for eldership for life. The document does make it clear that elders need to take the issue seriously and report them, but I think it would be good if consequences for lack of compliance were also mentioned.

I do agree. However, I believe that was covered under point # 3 where it say elders will not shield an abuser from police. I think this is a basic, general policy, so some details may no be explicitly included.

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1 hour ago, Bob said:

I do agree. However, I believe that was covered under point # 3 where it say elders will not shield an abuser from police. I think this is a basic, general policy, so some details may no be explicitly included.

 

I know, it mentions that as a rule but no consequences for non-compliance. I think it would also make a good impression if we showed that we also do not tolerate potential conspiracies against victims of sexual abuse for whatever reasons. The rules set forth in this guideline pretty much handle the whole issue quite well, since there is room for all different scenarios including slander. No matter what the first impression of the BoE is, they need to take the issue seriously.

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4 hours ago, ChocoBro said:

 

I know, it mentions that as a rule but no consequences for non-compliance. I think it would also make a good impression if we showed that we also do not tolerate potential conspiracies against victims of sexual abuse for whatever reasons. The rules set forth in this guideline pretty much handle the whole issue quite well, since there is room for all different scenarios including slander. No matter what the first impression of the BoE is, they need to take the issue seriously.

There are definitely things that could have been added, but I do not think its a good idea to look for the shortcomings. This just a general policy, serving as a guideline for elders and membership. Many things cannot have a "yes or no" sort of answer, or if a brother does X, the consequences are Y. Those are not always feasible because there are sometimes unknown circumstances at play. So this policy would be full of theoretical "what if" scenarios, the size of a elders manual.

 

Since elders actually handle child abuse accusations, more specific direction is given via elder's letters and their handbook to cover what's not specifically mentioned in the public part of the policy.

 

It seems best just to keep it a general guideline for public consumption.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Bob

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About it being reviewed every three years. Maybe someone has mentioned this, but I noticed today that it actually says that they will review it at least once every three years.  So they might review it more than once at least after three years.  I don't know for sure if it means the following so I'm wondering;  Perhaps they might review it sooner than three years at least sometimes and perhaps even more than once sometimes before three years, they might not strictly stick to waiting three years.    Just a thought that came to me.  Am I making sense?  I'm having a harder time explaining what I mean to say than I thought I would.  What I'm trying to say is, maybe it depends and the at least once every three years is the minimum.  

Edited by JW2017

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On ‎5‎/‎5‎/‎2018 at 12:44 PM, ChocoBro said:

This document is great. I think it should go one step further. I think one could add that any elders engaged in trying to coerce a victim to remain quiet or cover such an issue over are being accessories to a gross sin as well as tainting Jehovah's name and are at risk of losing their eligibility for eldership for life. The document does make it clear that elders need to take the issue seriously and report them, but I think it would be good if consequences for lack of compliance were also mentioned.

First I want to say that I understand your point of view and your concerns. But I would also like to say what comes to my mind about the matter and that is that they don't always explain or mention every detail in these documents. 

 

For example they did not explain the scriptural process for necessary evidence such as the two witnesses or how that works with child abuse in this document at least not at this time like they did in the documents they published in the past on one of our older websites www.jw-media.org where they updated documents at times on the main procedures applicable at that time. 

 

What I mean is in those documents they explained how the two witnesses with child abuse can be two persons who are witnesses to separate incidents of the same kind of wrong doing committed by the same individual. 

 

I believe that I did read that somewhere in the documents that I read on the Australian commission's website although I didn't read everything there and that was a while ago.  I'm trying to remember if I read it in the documents the brothers submitted to them. I got overwhelmed reading over the things on that website and it included more than what I wanted to read.

 

So they don't talk about that subject in this document however they do mention that the elders conduct a scriptural investigation and that they follow scriptural instructions.

 

I do remember on a broadcast months ago, I don't remember which month.  They showed a separate video of a brother talking about the two witness requirement.  He did not talk about it in relation to child abuse, however he did talk about it in general in relation to serious sins committed by members of the congregation.  He read two of the various verses in the Bible on the subject;  Deuteronomy 19:15, and Jesus words at Matthew 18:16. 

 

He pointed out that it is in the Christian scriptures and that Jesus talked about it because some people including apostates, criticize Jehovah's Witnesses for what they call the two witness rule. One of the  arguments that people use against it is that the Old Testament said a lot of things and it required that people be stoned to death for adultery and we don't do that today and people did not do that in the New Testament. 

 

Well, one of the reasons that I bring up what he said is because he stated that our organization will never change this requirement, because the scriptures are clear.  

 

Anyway, another example is that they also don't mention the temporary restrictions that would be imposed upon a person guilty of child abuse for a sufficient period of time, if allowed to remain in the congregation without being expelled because that one is considered deeply repentant. 

 

Such as participating at congregation meetings, commenting for example.  They also don't mention the person being publically reproved or reproved at all.  Unless I'm getting something wrong, in years past a person could be privately reproved for any type of child abuse sometimes, but for some time now they are automatically publically reproved, at least for sexual abuse.  That's the impression that I am under, but I could be wrong so please don't quote me on that unless you ask someone who would know like an elder.  

 

Whatever the case, the person would be prohibited from commenting, along with other things but that would be temporary, unlike other permanent restrictions such as not being allowed to have a responsible position or any special privileges ever.  However they do mention that the person would be restricted from congregation activities as well as the most important permanent restrictions.

 

What I'm trying to point out, I might not being doing a good job of it.  But, what I'm trying to say is that:  They don't mention every detail even though there will probably be non-Witnesses reading it sometimes as well.   However it is, as you and others have mentioned, a very good and informative document and it does get a lot of very important things said.  

 

Also, in the past on the other documents they published on www.jw-media.org earlier in the 2000's.   They mentioned back then that they do not believe that their policy is perfect, for no human organization is perfect. They also stated that:  Their policies and procedures have been refined over time and that they were continuing to refine them.  Over the years when they have seen areas where their policy and procedures could be strengthened they have followed through.  Also, they do believe that they have a strong Bible Based Policy on Child Abuse.  

 

Well, this new document is an example of some more recent refinements that they have made to strengthen things.  Some things I noticed were already that way and were very good.  But now they have added some things, including additional situations, one in particular, where the elders have to report child abuse to the authorities.  That is even if there is no legal requirement.  Before and still now of course, the elders had to follow child abuse reporting laws in areas where such laws legally included the elders.  But now there are some other situations, particularly when a child is still in danger.

 

So like I said;  They have made refinements again, just like they said in the past.   Also, they said as mentioned on this thread that they will review this new policy, at least once every three years.  So they might make other refinements yet again in the future, unless the Great Tribulation and Armageddon comes before they have a chance to.  

 

So, I don't know how they handle situations like you mentioned in your post ChocoBro.  They might already have a good way of handling it and for some reason they did not mention it in the document, at least not at this time.  Or perhaps they will come up with something better in the near future, if it is Jehovah's will.  All in Jehovah's time.

 

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On ‎5‎/‎3‎/‎2018 at 11:29 PM, JW2017 said:

It was announced among other announcements tonight, but it was rushed since the brother was running out of time since someone went overtime on a part.  So not everyone heard it.  I was talking a little while ago to someone and she didn't hear the part about the child abuse packet although that part did get read. 

 

At least letters from the Branch and Head Quarters are usually put up on a board on a wall in the Kingdom Hall and brothers and sisters do go back there and look.  Although that wasn't mentioned tonight like it usually is, but people will still look at the letter especially since it got read fast and there was a lot of different information.  Also, I am telling some friends.  Also,  at least, some brothers and sisters in my congregation probably did hear that part and many know others in different congregations too.

So, one way or another, my congregation will find out about it.

 

It is up on the information board.

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26 minutes ago, JW2017 said:

What I mean is in those documents they explained how the two witnesses with child abuse can be two persons who are witnesses to separate incidents of the same kind of wrong doing committed by the same individual. 

The second witness can also be a conversation that a now departed person had with an Elder many years ago. 

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24 minutes ago, JW2017 said:

I don't understand what you mean.

I am familiar with a case of child abuse, my 6yr old daughter was raped a number of times over a 3 or 4 month span.

 

One of the 'second witnesses', the two reputable people who are required before anything can be Judicially decided upon, happened to be the mans mother. The 'proof' or 'evidence' that she contributed, after her death, was a conversation that one of our Elders remembered he had had with her.

(*she had confided in this Elder,  that she knew that the accusations were correct**)

I was just trying to deflate the old  argument of our opposition,  that    'of course there wasn't 2 people watching'. They claim that we parade our victimized children before their molesters to scare them so they drop charges. That way, they say, 'the crime isn't counted against you'. .....

 

Yeah,  I'm gonna back on outta here. ..

Edited by tekmantwo

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On 5/3/2018 at 2:39 AM, sunshine said:

I think we need to be really really careful about what we say. I understand the point being made about some things being more serious and traumatic than others but it's worth keeping in mind that in most countries an 18 year old having sex with a 15 ("consentual" or not) is viewed as "statutary rape" which would legally make him a sex offender.

I agree. There was a case recently where a female teacher slept with a 14 year old student. Many of the immature children were congratulating him on forums, but they do not have the maturity to see the big picture. Some even are saying they should legalise all sex for all ages, just based upon a "consent system".

 

Any adult in their right mind would never have sex with a minor. The fact she did this is indicative of greater underlying mental/moral issues this woman surely has considering both the fact of what she has done and in the "context" of living in a country where it is 'highly' frowned upon. She was willing to not just sleep with a minor, but to also break the law. Can such a woman be trusted in other areas of life? 14 year olds are not fully mature and do not know what they want in life, it's easy for a child/teen to regret things later in life or/and be affected by it in a deeper way and any responsible adult knows this. Even "if" the 14 year old consented, enjoyed it and does not regret it later, this is not the point. Promoting, praising or legalising such an act would be more harmful universally and would encourage mass paedophilia. Grown adults would have the power to bully vulnerable children or to influence/pressure the very suggestible ones into having sex and using fear or manipulation to talk the victim in lying about it being consented. This even happens to "adults" who are fully mature and self sufficient, never mind younger people.

 

Not only are the above points valid concerns, but not all young teens and pre-teens are as so "adult minded" and many are simply overwhelmed by hormones to make "mature decisions". This is "why" the law exists in the first place. A woman like that can't be trusted.

 

 

Also, speaking from experiance, I myself at that age of 13 was subject to sexual confusion and curiosity (which is actually rather common), as it's an age of development. I was sexually groomed and touched in inapproiate places many times over the years by a man who was getting on for 30 in my congregation all those years ago. It eventually went to a place I do not like to recall. At the time I was so ashamed, shocked and upset with myself and I never told anyone until years later, by that time that person and his family all have left the truth.

 

The thoughts I had then as a 13 year old are nothing to do with the person I am now. But child predators prey upon these stages of life and child/teen suggestablity.

Edited by EccentricM

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5 hours ago, JW2017 said:

For example they did not explain the scriptural process for necessary evidence such as the two witnesses or how that works with child abuse in this document at least not at this time like they did in the documents they published in the past on one of our older websites www.jw-media.org where they updated documents at times on the main procedures applicable at that time. 

IMO they didn't mention the two witnesses because it causes confusion among the public and actually it has little to do with handling child abuse. The so-called two-witnesses rule only has to do with a spiritual action, a judicial committee that decides whether that person can still be considered one of Jehovah's Witnesses or not. Nobody can be disfellowshipped based only on one accusation, some evidence is required.

 

But those "two witnesses" are completely irrelevant for the secular proceeding. A person who makes an accusation of child abuse is always invited to report the issue to the authorities, no matter if there is any evidence of the abuse or not. This is the point that is systematically misrepresented by our opposers and the media. The elders will report the accusation if the law requires them to, otherwise they will leave the report in the hands of the victim's parents. In any case, of course, every individual elder and any other person who knows of the situation is free to contact the police, especially if the child is still in danger of further abuse.

 

4 hours ago, tekmantwo said:

am familiar with a case of child abuse, my 6yr old daughter was raped a number of times over a 3 or 4 month span.

 

44 minutes ago, EccentricM said:

I was sexually groomed and touched in inapproiate places many times over the years by a man who was getting on for 30 in my congregation all those years ago.

We're sorry to hear those horrible experiences. Really sorry. Just please take into account that this topic is in a public section of the forum that anyone, including non-members, can read and since this has to do with a public announcement we'd like to keep it public. Of course what we share is up to every one of us, but many may prefer not to share such private details with the whole world. If you are willing to discuss them, it may be better to do it in one of the members-only sections of the forums. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Edited by carlos

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4 minutes ago, carlos said:

Of course what we share is up to every one of us, but many may prefer not to share such private details with the whole world. If you are willing to discuss them, it may be better to do it in one of the members-only sections of the forums. 🙂

Understood. I should also say (for others that read this public forum to not get the wrong understanding) that what happend was not the fault of the congregation if anyone reads it like that. Nothing was reported, so there was no injustice going on or things hidden by elders.

Edited by EccentricM

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41 minutes ago, carlos said:

IMO they didn't mention the two witnesses because it causes confusion among the public and actually it has little to do with handling child abuse. The so-called two-witnesses rule only has to do with a spiritual action, a judicial committee that decides whether that person can still be considered one of Jehovah's Witnesses or not. Nobody can be disfellowshipped based only on one accusation, some evidence is required.

 

But those "two witnesses" are completely irrelevant for the secular proceeding. A person who makes an accusation of child abuse is always invited to report the issue to the authorities, no matter is there is any evidence of the abuse or not. This is the point that is systematically misrepresented by our opposers and the media.

Agree with you about the "two-witness rule". That's why brother Bearux in that morning worship applied it broadly. I actually appreciated that. It is no secret why the organization doesn't respond to those creepy, sensationalist news stories with anything other than a statement and reference to their policies. The media prefers to consort with apostates, and often times now, seek them out asking for "stories" of abuse.

 

Why allow facts to derail a perfectly creepy story?

Edited by Bob

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I am sorry for the misunderstandings and upset feelings that my posts about the 18 year old with the 15 year old has caused.  

 

I'd like to mention again that when I used the 18 with a 15 year old example.  I was using that as an example of a situation they've mentioned in the past and I don't know if that's still the case, it may very well not be considering some of the posts on here. 

 

I just meant that they don't usually under most circumstances even in such a case as mentioned by myself, they would not always allow even such a person to have a responsible positon even after decades. However they did mention this example on the internet until we had our new website which originally didn't explain the policy. 

 

Another example that they used on www.jw-media.org before they brought up the example I mentioned first with the 18 year old, was the same scenario except not with a legal adult, rather a 16 year old boy with a 15 year old girl.

 

The reason that I brought it up is because I thought that some might misunderstand when they made the statement that a child abuser could not have a responsible position for decades if ever.  I didn't want people to think that it's more common to allow them to after decades especially with a larger age difference or with an unwilling participant. 

 

I did not come up with these examples myself, they originally appeared as I read on one of our past websites earlier in the 2000's before we had our current official websites.   However, I do realize that they didn't mention these examples in this current document and so I don't know if either one of them would still apply.  However, it would take an unusual situation for them to allow someone known to have done something like this to have special privileges, if ever of course and if they would allow something this at times.

 

I'm not doing a good job of explaining what I'm trying to say.  I know that some have been critical because of them saying not for decades If ever misunderstanding that they sometimes allow child molesters even of young children to have responsible positions after decades.  That's the primary reason that I brought this up, because some have misunderstood that statement to mean what I just said and of course it doesn't mean that at all.

 

  I know someone who abused more than one girl sexually decades ago (Not several decades) and they were in their early teens for a lot of it one was 12 when it started.  Well, what happened mostly did not involve things that they were aware of for a while, with certain exceptions because it was mostly voyeurism committed by someone well into his twenties who was a very active brother.  I mention this and I am definitely not minimizing the seriousness or graveness of it or the fact that this was sexual abuse. I'm sorry if I said too much in the example in this paragraph.

 

I'm using it as an example because he is still not allowed to have a responsible position or any special privileges and he never will be allowed to which decided on a long time ago.  So why on earth would they allow someone who has gone even farther than that with even younger children, to have a responsible position or any special privileges such as but not limited to pioneering after decades?  Of course they would not and they have made that clear!  Some people either misunderstand or they twist what has been said. 

 

So that's why I brought it up and I'm sorry that caused more confusion and upset. 

 

If and that is if,  our organization ever allowed a child abuser especially one guilty of sexual abuse to have any special privileges or a position, it would be at the very least extremely rare if ever which is the way I understood what they said. I'm sorry if I misunderstood.

 

  I know that our brothers are strict in not allowing those guilty of sexually abusing a child or children whether a young child or a teenager, to have any special privileges or position in the congregation.  I know that this includes statutory rape and other sexual behavior with a minor not old enough to consent, especially with a significant age difference and I don't mean only with a large age difference. 

 

 

This also includes those that are known to have sexually abused a minor before becoming one of Jehovah's Witnesses and rightfully so. Such a person cannot have any special privileges or a responsible position and this is not new. 

 

As the document brings out, sexual abuse may also include, sexting with a minor or showing pornography to a minor. So they are strict, as this document shows and rightfully so.

 

Anyway I am repeating myself in some ways. 

 

Also about the two witnesses.  I did not mean that they have to put that in the document, I just meant that they didn't mention every detail.  I can see why they didn't mention that part, whether they decide to do so in the future or not.  So, they may have a policy in place for what ChocoBrother mentioned, or they will in the near future but, it just wasn't mentioned in the document.  I also understand why the brother on the video talked about the two witness requirement in general.  After all, if applies to any serious sin including serious crimes.  

 

It is also true that the age of consent and what age difference is allowed concerning this issue can vary legally speaking, even in different States in the United States.  Also the law can change.  Of course we have to comply with the law and we should;  Romans 13:1; Titus 3:1.  Additionally, merely because something is legal doesn't make it right or scriptural, so in some areas in the world depending upon what the law is, the brothers may have additional requirements.  

 

I hope that I have clarified my statements and I hope that I haven't made things worse in this post.  

 

Thank You

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In the U.S., State laws can add to the confusion.  In the State of Montana the age of consent for a female is 16 years old.  For males....... 18.  So in theory if two 16 year old people had consensual sex, she could be the abuser and or statutory rapist.  If either are under 16, then age does not matter, it's abuse AND if it's a homosexual relationship both have to be 18.  How cases like this are to be  criminally charged is not the job of the Elders, as stated, their responsibility is to keep the Congregation clean.

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1 hour ago, dozerman5676 said:

How cases like this are to be  criminally charged is not the job of the Elders, as stated, their responsibility is to keep the Congregation clean.

Yes, but no one ever said elders are involved in the criminality of it, or that they should be. 

 

My point was whether or no the sin or crime is serious enough to warrant a permanent ban from having privileges in the eye of the organization. 

Edited by Bob

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5 hours ago, JW2017 said:

I'm sorry, I'm having a difficult time explaining what I mean to say.  Also I couldn't edit one word that makes it more confusing when I meant to say it applies not if applies.

No sweat, Whitney. What you said was very ok. It's the same example our publications gave.

 

I don't know if that particular situation has changed with the most recent adjustments, probably not, but anyway your point was valid. :)

 

 

 

Edited by carlos

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Yes, but no one ever said elders are involved in the criminality of it, or that they should be. 
 
My point was whether or no the sin or crime is serious enough to warrant a permanent ban from having privileges in the eye of the organization. 
1 tim talks about servants should ve free from accusations.
I dont see how any "brother" who has been criminally charged or even accused could serve as an elder lr servant.


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