Jehovah’s Witnesses Shun Australia’s Redress Program for Child Sex Abuse Victims


July 2, 2020

By Hemant Mehta

In 2013, the Australian government set up the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse to look into the very serious issue. Rabbis were implicated alongside Catholic priests. Secular organizations weren’t immune from wrongdoing.

One of the recommendations from that Commission was the creation of the National Redress Scheme, a formal way to literally pay back victims of child sex abuse for all they had suffered. It’s not a perfect system by any means — could anything be? — but the idea behind it is that victims can fill out paperwork explaining what they went through, officials will calculate what that trauma is worth, and victims will receive a check.

Among the many criticisms is that the NRS pushes a hierarchy of abuse; penetration is deemed more damaging than any other kind of abuse, for example. That’s a discussion for another thread.

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