August 8, 2020
By Laura Clements
“My mother… she’s sacrificing me to gain eternal life”
When 16-year-old Sian sat down and told her mum she had been sexually assaulted, she said she was subjected to a barrage of questions like what was she wearing, did she enjoy it and did she definitely say no?
Her mother, a zealous Jehovah’s Witness told her teenage daughter if she had been more immersed in the faith, maybe even prayed more, it would never have happened.
Now aged 35 and with three of her own children, Sian has virtually no contact with her mum despite the fact they live immediately next door.
In a pitiful effort to maintain some sort of normality, occasionally Sian comes across small bags of sweets left on her garden wall for her children. Sometimes, envelopes stuffed with money are posted through the letterbox and once a package containing an X-Box was dropped off at the house.
Sian grew up as a Jehovah’s Witness in south Wales with her mum and step-father – her parents divorced when she was very young- but said the religion “never sat right” with her.
Sian is not her real name. As she speaks candidly about life as a young Jehovah’s Witness, it is clear she is protecting not just her children but also her own sense of worth in an effort for self-preservation.
“A boy forced himself on me when I was younger,” she says, almost apologetically. “I told my mother and she said I needed to tell the elders. So I went to them and explained what had happened. I was 16 and I was reproved even though it wasn’t my fault.
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