National Redress Scheme: Jehovah’s Witnesses hold out over sex abuse

The Australian

July 2, 2020

By Greg Brown

The Jehovah’s Witnesses is openly defying the child sex abuse royal commission, refusing to implement its recommendations because they go against the religion’s “Bible-based beliefs” despite allegations that 1800 children had been abused since 1950.

The secretive religion of nearly 70,000 members is one of six institutions that were publicly shamed and stripped of taxpayer funding by Social Services Minister Anne Ruston who condemned the groups on Wednesday for failing to uphold their “moral obligation” to society by signing-up to the redress scheme.

She warned the refusal of the six institutions, including the Boys’ Brigade NSW, to participate was blocking the compensation claims of 55 abuse survivors.

The Australian can reveal the Jehovah’s Witnesses has failed to reform its structures in line with the directions issued by the royal commission in addition to its rejection of demands it sign-up to the government’s scheme aimed at compensating victims.

The decision means those with sex abuse allegations within the religion will still need to have their stories corroborated by at least two witnesses before church elders consider whether an alleged offender should be sanctioned by the organisation.

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