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REPRESENTING THE PEOPLE AGAINST THE POWERFUL

JEHOVAH'S WITNESS SEX ABUSE


AVA Law Group is currently investigating cases on behalf of individuals who were sexually abused as children by members of the Jehovah's Witness congregation. The horrifying crime of child sex abuse impacts nearly every religion, and Jehovah’s Witnesses are no exception. With over 8 million followers across the world and over 100,000 congregations, the Jehovah’s Witness religion boasts of their devotion to protecting children from sexual predators in the home and church.

However, shocking reports have revealed Jehovah’s Witnesses and their parent corporation the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York have hidden and blatantly dismissed claims of sexual abuse. Sexual abuse survivors and advocates claim the Watchtower Society have collected nearly 10,000 names of alleged sexual abusers in the Church and refuse to release those names to law enforcement.

If you or a loved one were sexually abused as a child by a member of the Jehovah's Witness congregation, contact AVA Law Group today. Recent laws have been passed that may allow you to pursue justice against your abuser and the Church that silenced your abuse. We're here to support you through this difficult time and fight for your right to healing. Call our sexual abuse attorneys today to learn about your legal options.

JEHOVAH’S WITNESS SEX ABUSE ALLEGATIONS

Few Jehovah’s Witness sexual abuse cases have been released to the public, because the austere religion enforces harsh rules for reporting abuse and rarely to never releases abuse reports to the public or police.

Corrupt Abuse Reporting System

Allegedly the Watchtower Society instructed Jehovah’s Witness elders to report cases of sexual abuse directly to them rather than local law enforcement to avoid legal action. ABC News even reported that the Watchtower Society sent out a letter to elders saying to keep sexual abuse allegations amongst fellow elders, because “wordly people are quick to resort to lawsuits if they feel their ‘rights’ have been violated.”

Claims state that in 1989 the Watchtower Society mandated for elders to send the names of sexual abusers in the church to them in little blue envelopes for the Society to collect, review, and stow away. These reports never saw the light of day again.

Over the decades, Jehovah’s Witness congregations and the Watchtower Society have amassed the names of thousands of alleged sexual predators that have never been turned over to the authorities. In fact, the Watchtower Society was ordered to turn over the files to a court or face heavy penalty fines. To this day, the Church has not turned over the files and remains millions of dollars in debt, all to maintain the face of their Church instead of protecting innocent lives.

Severe Reporting Rules

Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watchtower Society claim they are under no “secular” legal requirement to report sexual abuse claims. Instead, they follow a severe “two or more witness” rule within the church to address sexual abuse claims.

If cases of sexual abuse are reported within the church, the Watchtower Society dictates that there needs to be two or more witnesses to the abuse in order for the claim to be viewed as credible. This alone is a horrifying way to treat abuse victims. Sexual abuse claims need to be taken seriously, and simply dismissing them can drastically damage a child’s development and trust for the rest of their lives.

Far worse is how Jehovah’s Witness elders treat sexual abuse victims if they cannot produce a second witness. Sometimes if a sexual abuse survivor could not produce another witness, they were disfellowshipped from the church, or excommunicated, for bringing “false accusations” against another church member.

If you’re a Jehovah’s Witness, your community and church are integral parts of your life; they hold your family, friends, and even your livelihood at times. Being excommunicated for reporting sexual abuse is abominable, especially because the sexual predator gets to walk free. Because of the two-witness rule, many Jehovah’s Witness sexual predators are never brought to justice, left to abuse more children without any consequences.

Sexual Abuse Lawsuits Against Jehovah’s Witnesses

Survivors of Jehovah Witness sexual abuse have started to step forward and share their stories. Over the past decade 30 lawsuits nationwide have come forward against Jehovah’s Witness congregations and the Watchtower Society. Their bravery has not only helped them recover damages for their abuse, but has encouraged other survivors to step forward, testify, and seek a better future for children in the Church.

Landmark Lawsuits Against the Jehovah’s Witness Congregation and the Watchtower Society include the following cases:

2018

A Montana woman was awarded $35 million when she came forward and testified that a Jehovah’s Witness congregation covered up sexual abuse she endured as a child by another member of the congregation.

2014

A California court awarded a man $13.5 million after being abused by a Jehovah’s Witness elder, Gonzalo Campos. The man was reportedly left alone with Campos on a regular basis, and Witness elders were aware of other cases of Campos abusing children. Later, Campos admitted he that abused at least eight other children between 1982 and 1995.

2012

A California woman was awarded over $20 million in damages for being abused by an elder as a child. According to the lawsuit, the predator elder previously confessed to molesting his stepdaughter. Elders in the congregation knew of the abuse and failed to notify parents of the dangerous elder or report the abuse to the police.

Survivors of Jehovah’s Witness Abuse: We are Here for You

Your trust was violated. This alone is devastating and frightening. But also to be betrayed the church you depended on for guidance and help after being sexually abused should not be a pain you have to bear. Elders in the Jehovah’s Witness congregation failed to protect you, and they need to be held accountable so future generations of children in the Church can be protected. 

If you were sexually abused by a member of the Jehovah's Witness congregation, we are here to help you. When you partner with AVA Law Group, we connect you to some of the best sexual abuse lawyers in the country, lawyers with proven track records of successfully achieving justice and compensation for clients. We want to make this time less difficult for you, so we handle the hassle of filing a claim so you can focus on healing and recovery.

To learn more about your legal options, fill out your free, no-obligation, in-depth case evaluation today or call AVA Law Group at 1.866.428.2925. We are here to serve you in your time of need and help you along your path to healing.

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