Former and current members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses claim that the church protects members who sexually abuse children. The members in Canada have launched a $66 million claim against the leaders of the church. In the class action litigation, they allege that church policies let sexual predators hide in plain sight.
The suit was filed in Ontario on behalf of all Canadians who allegedly suffered abuse by members of the church. Currently, there are 100,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses living in the province. A similar claim was launched in Quebec. Since the Ontario suit was commenced, dozens of people have been calling for information.
The Center for Investigative Reporting found, through an ongoing investigation, that an affiliate corporation, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, tells local church leaders to keep sexual abuse allegations hush-hush from the authorities. Apparently, this is a matter of policy. Watchtower in the United States has been collecting names of alleged abusers for more than 20 years. Most are under a protective court order and can’t be viewed by the public or authorities, although some have been used in civil court. A similar request will be made in Canada.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses are facing several sexual abuse allegations around the world, including in the United Kingdom and in Australia. In fact, a government commission in Australia investigated the Watchtower headquarters there and allegedly uncovered more than 1,000 child abusers dating back to 1950. Not one case was ever reported to authorities.
Those in Canada who allege sexual abuse from within any organized religious group would do well to seek support from a lawyer in Canada experienced in class action litigation and appeals law. Those making the sexual abuse allegations can increase the odds of achieving the best possible result with experienced legal counsel. A compassionate lawyer will guide his or her client in the entire litigation process.
Source: revealnews.org, “Jehovah’s Witnesses sued in Canada over history of sex abuse cover-up“, Trey Bundy, Oct. 20, 2017