Jehovah’s Witnesses under fire for not talking as sexual abuse claims rise

So far 267 reports of sexual abuse involving the Jehovah’s Witnesses community have been made to a hotline opened at the end of last year, Trouw said on Wednesday.

The hotline was set up by the Reclaimed Voices foundation in 2017 after the paper published a report on the growing scandal in November.

In an open letter to the organisation, the foundation is calling for a meeting with church officials but says that so far its advances have been rebuffed.

‘This is having a major effect on the victims who have now finally dared to come forward with their stories,’ said the foundation’s Frank Huiting who is also a victim.

‘They are angry… and feel disappointed about the whole process. Basically, we are still not being heard,’ he said.




 

Justice minister Sander Dekker said last year that the church should look to the example of the Catholic church to dealing with complaints about sexual abuse

In total, 3,712 people have reported being victims of sexual abuse within the Catholic church to a special hotline set up in 2010.

There are some 30,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Netherlands.