The treatment of child abuse victims by the Jehovah’s Witness church is seriously flawed, a national inquiry has heard from a consultant hired by the church.
Monica Applewhite, a US-based consultant specialising in child abuse risk analysis and education programs for institutions, mostly churches, was employed by Watchtower Australia to evaluate the Witnesses’ policies for the royal commission hearing.
Watchtower Australia is the legal entity of the Jehovah’s Witness church.
Dr Applewhite, who has been an expert witness in abuse trials in Britain and the US, submitted a report in which she noted the Jehovah’s Witnesses were a cut above other religious organisations in Australia.
The doctor, who has listed work with the Catholic archdioceses of Melbourne and Adelaide on her extensive CV, said she had not found examples in Australia of a religious organisation that provided better information than the Witnesses on how to support abuse victims.
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