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  1. Article from 1/24/2020: Jehovah’s Witness abuse victims unhappy at lack of care, report shows
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    .....The Dutch branch went to court to try to stop the publication of the report but judges on Thursday ruled that it could be published in the public interest..... Below is final part of that report. SUMMARY Results in context International studies conducted in Australia, Belgium and the United Kingdom show that the issue of sexual abuse in the Jehovah's Witness community is not restricted to the Netherlands. Furthermore, studies conducted within the Dutch Roman Catholic Church and the youth care sector in the Netherlands show that the issue of sexual abuse is not exclusive to the Jehovah's Witness community. Our study and the international studies show that the Jehovah's Witness community can be characterized as a closed community. Each of these studies shows that fixed structures and protocols have been established based on the Bible. Furthermore, all of the international studies showed that the Jehovah's Witness community does not adequately handle reports and complaints of sexual abuse against minors and that victims find themselves in a vulnerable position. Our study and the studies conducted in Australia, Belgium and the United Kingdom also suggested that the closed nature of the community hinders transparent handling of reports of sexual abuse. At first glance, this closed nature also seems to have a negative influence on the willingness to file a police report. International studies into the Jehovah's Witness community have found that there are very few opportunities to make such complaints outside the community and that doing so involves a very high risk of shunning and exclusion. The victim-support mechanisms within the community appear to be insufficient, no support is provided to enable external reporting of sexual abuse and according to many respondents, external reports are discouraged. The obligation to notify the authorities of suspected or actual sexual abuse is a vital measure that has been taken by or recommended to the Jehovah's Witness community in Australia and Belgium. The Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands has also been advised to introduce a notification obligation. Since the studies in Australia and the United Kingdom were conducted, the Jehovah's Witnesses have set up a protocol to determine how elders must handle allegations of child abuse. The effects of the measures taken by the Jehovah's Witness community in Australia, the United Kingdom and Belgium in order to improve child safety are not yet known. When we look at the three Dutch studies examining communities (closed or otherwise) that were examined during this study (the Roman Catholic Church, the youth care sector and the Netherlands Ministry of Defense), we note that being in a closed community hinders people from reporting a variety of offences. At the time, the minors who reported sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church community seemed to be in an extremely vulnerable position (due in part to the lack of personal counselling), which - among other factors - discouraged them from notifying external parties. Studies within the youth care sector and the Netherlands Ministry of Defense indicate that non-religious organisations also have structural inadequacies concerning the protection of members against undesired conduct and external reporting of such conduct. Furthermore, it can be carefully concluded from the studies within the Roman Catholic Church and youth care sector that the weak levels of procedural transparency concerning issues, such as to whom the incidents should be reported and how the reporting process is conducted, appear to have negatively impacted the willingness to report offences. Utrecht University Conclusions ▪ A total of 751 participants shared their experiences of sexual abuse within the Jehovah's Witness community via our contact point. These experiences included 292 accounts from people with personal experience of abuse and 459 accounts from people who know somebody who suffered abuse. ▪ 80% of the participants in the study reported their experiences of sexual abuse within the Jehovah's Witness community. ▪ 30% of the respondents notified the police and 27% of the respondents filed a police report. ▪ Three-quarters of the victims awarded a score of 5 or less for the handling of their report by the Jehovah's Witness community (average score: 3.3). ▪ 63% of the victims awarded a score of 6 or more for the handling of their report by the police (average score: 6.4). ▪ Compared to internal channels (80% report the offence within the community), a relatively small proportion of the participants in the study engage external channels (30% notify the police and 27% file an official police report). There are reasons to assume that the filing of a police report is hindered by the closed nature of the community and the risks involved in informing external parties. However, our study does not provide causal evidence for this factor and follow-up studies would be required for such evidence. ▪ According to our respondents, the closed culture within the Jehovah's Witness community can also be linked to the problems concerning the handling of reports of sexual abuse. The board has now put protocols and instructions in place to establish procedures for responding to reports of sexual abuse, although these mainly seem to focus on protecting the community - and, by extension, the culprit - rather than the victim. As a result, victims receive limited support and insufficient recognition, which can result in secondary victimization. ▪ While the community has taken steps over the past 10 years to improve how reports of sexual abuse are handled, the Jehovah's Witnesses' formalistic system still provides no guarantee of an adequate response to sexual abuse. Recommendations Based on the findings and conclusions in the study, we have formulated recommendations for the Jehovah's Witness community and for the Dutch government. ▪ We appeal to the community of Jehovah's Witnesses to ensure better support for and recognition of victims and alleged victims via measures such as the following: o Providing more explicit information regarding the options for reporting the abuse externally or filing a police report and/or seeking external help as well as providing clear assistance with these external channels. o Setting up an internal reporting centre for victims of sexual abuse, with adequate knowledge of the subject and of the internal and external options for victims. Clear agreements must be established within this reporting centre concerning timely engagement of external parties for the purposes of reporting the offence and/or supporting the victim. o Compiling annual reports regarding the activities of the internal reporting centre in relation to its own website, fellow believers and the public. o Training and educating elders in how to handle in cases of sexual abuse, in order to better equip them to provide support to victims. o Investing in openness and transparency in relation to sexual abuse and how it is handled. o Initiating cultural change that establishes a clearer position for women. o Engaging in discussions within the community and with other parties - such as politicians, the police, the authorities and the Reclaimed Voices foundation - concerning how to prevent and handle sexual abuse. ▪ Furthermore, the results of this study could help to ensure relevant parties - such as the municipal health services and the police - are better informed of the influence of closed communities on victims of abuse. ▪ The Netherlands board of Jehovah's Witnesses actively cooperated with our study. The board also stated that it complies with the law of the land and the Reclaimed Voices foundation confirmed this policy principle. This situation provides the Dutch political system with the opportunity to take action and enter into talks with the community about patterns, church rules, other rules, customs, structures and their consequences for the willingness to report sexual abuse within the community of Jehovah's Witnesses. Within this context, a law is being considered that would make it mandatory for the Jehovah's Witnesses and other organisations to report instances or suspicions of sexual abuse to the police. Other countries have already introduced this type of law. Assessment of the usefulness and desirability of this instrument for the Jehovah's Witness community in the Netherlands will require further research. ▪ Finally, we recommend supplementing the independent scientific research presented during this report with additional future research. After all, the number of missing values/responses for a number of variables and the self-reports presented here imply that establishing truth is not the purpose of this report. Furthermore, no solid causal links concerning willingness to report sexual abuse can be derived from this report. Further research would be necessary to determine how applicable the findings concerning sexual abuse are to the Jehovah's Witness community in the Netherlands and in other countries, as well as within other organisations. However, the research presented in this study into sexual abuse within the Jehovah's Witness community in the Netherlands provides ample grounds for future research to establish a more comprehensive picture of the people reporting sexual abuse, the people not reporting sexual abuse, and the perpetrators of sexual abuse among Jehovah's Witnesses in the Netherlands and in other countries.
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  2. Jehovah’s Witnesses go to court to block sex abuse report publication
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  3. Utrecht, Netherlands A SHOOTING attack on Monday in the Dutch city of Utrecht that left three people dead and nine injured was being investigated as a possible case of terrorism, authorities said, and police were focusing their hunt on a gunman who escaped the scene. "At this stage, we can confirm three deaths and nine wounded, three of them seriously," Utrecht Mayor Jan van Zanen said in a video statement on Twitter. "We are working on the principle that it was a terrorist attack," he added. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte had earlier said there were "possible deaths" and that a terrorist motive was "not excluded". The Netherlands' main counterterrorism agency raised its assessment of the threat in Utrecht province, just south-east of Amsterdam, to the highest level and said it had activated a crisis team. The Dutch paramilitary police increased security at airports and other vital infrastructure points. Armed police at the scene where a shooting took place in the Dutch city of Utrecht on March 18. Authorities raised the terrorism threat to its highest level in Utrecht. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
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  4. The Jehovah’s Witnesses community in the Netherlands will not hold an independent inquiry into the sexual abuse of members, despite being urged to do so by justice minister Sander Dekker. By last month, 267 reports of sexual abuse involving Jehovah’s Witnesses had been made to a hotline set up by the Reclaimed Voices foundation in 2017 after Trouw published a report on the growing scandal. Dekker told RTL Nieuws on Tuesday that the organisation’s decision is ‘disappointing’ and that it is ignoring the victims who want to be heard. He has no powers to force the organisation to hold an inquiry. Read more:
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  5. The number of reports of sexual abuse within the Jehovah's Witnesses now stands at 267, Reclaimed Voices, a foundation that manages the hotline for this type of abuse, said to newspaper Trouw. Reclaimed Voices was established last year after Trouw published the stories of a number of Jehovah's Witnesses who were abused during their youth. One victim called the religious group a "paradise for pedophiles", because the Jehovah's Witnesses elders tend to keep sexual abuse quiet. In the first week of its existence, the hotline received nearly 50 sexual abuse reports. According to the newspaper, the victims of sexual abuse asked the Jehovah's Witnesses elders for a meeting to discuss this abuse six months ago, but still haven't heard anything. This has a big affect on the victims, Frank Huiting of Reclaimed Voices said to Trouw. "They are angry, they haven't known where they stand for some time and feel disappointed about the entire process. They still aren't being heard, is what it comes down to." Minister Sander Dekker for Legal Protection also instructed the leaders of the Jehovah's Witnesses to start a conversation with the victims.
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  6. "Some 80 reports of sexual abuse involving the Jehovah’s Witnesses community have been made over the past month, Trouw said on Thursday. Justice minister Sander Dekker has already said that the (JW)church should look to the example of the Catholic church to dealing with complaints about sexual abuse." "We are going to study the measures of the Catholic Church." - Michel van Hilten, spokesman Jehovah's Witnesses source; DutchNews.nl: Dozens come forward to report abuse by Jehovah’s Witnesses
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  7. Reclaimed Voices, a foundation set up in the Netherlands to denounce sexual abuse by Jehovah's Witnesses, received 46 reports of abuse in just a week's time. The number of reports is shocking, Frank Huiting, one of the founders and himself a victim of sexual abuse in a closed Jehovah's Witnesses community as a child, said to broadcaster NOS. The foundation was launched just over a week ago, based on Huiting's own experiences. He was abused from the time he was seven year's old. When Huiting told his parents, they decided not to report it to the police. An elder in the community advised against it. "Then there will be headlines in the newspaper and we don't want that." According to the Reclaimed Voices initiators, victims within the closed Jehovah's Witnesses community are not heard and perpetrators are left to continue unchecked. Over the past week, foundation employees heard stories from a number of people who were abused by Jehovah's Witnesses. "The fact that so many reports have come in actually says enough. There are at least hundreds of cases in the Netherlands that should actually come out", Huiting said, according to NOS. He added that so many victims are too afraid to come forward. The main purpose of Reclaimed Voices is to be a listening ear. The employees urge victims to speak out, and hope that they also report the abuse. "People walked around with this secret for years. And the fact that they are coming out, can be a relief for them. That was also my experience. We also want to advise them to seek professional help. Also outside the religious community, for example with a social worker, psychologist or general practitioner", Huiting said. The foundation aims to collect as man reports of sexual abuse as possible and present them to the board of Jehovah's Witnesses Netherlands and the Dutch government. "We want to get the government to investigate these abuses. And not to start a fight, but really to focus on the victim." Earlier this year Dutch newspaper Trouw spoke to a number of people who were sexually abused as children in the Jehovah's Witnesses community. One victim described the religious society as a "paradise for pedophiles".
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  8. Wow...#JWHolland?? #JWEurope #ConventionCampaign #JWGlobalFamily #StandFirm #ShoulderToShoulder #CloseRanksNow IT IS OUR TURN TO START THE CONVENTION CAMPAIGN FOR SWIFTERBANT, THE NETHERLANDS !! DON'T GIVE UP! 2017 Tap on screen link for video IMG_0068.MP4
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    Holland vs the Netherlands

    Posted so as to avoid confusion. ;-) My last name supposedly originates from the Dutch .... I was told they changed from a C to a K to avoid persecution from the Germans in the USA. Go figure.
  10. In the hurdy-gurdy Special convention 2016- Netherlands GF.mp4
  11. In the Netherlands, a TV crew for PowNed (a website/TV station known for their non-conventional approach and love for controversy) visited a Circuit Assembly The video starts with them asking 'Is everyone welcome here, even criminals, bikers, gays?', and the answer is of course yes. Then the clip focuses on asking JW's questions about gays and the Caleb video. In the end the crew is asked to stop filming and leave. Their 'implied invitation' has been withdrawn as they were 'creating unrest'. Possibly they actually were stirring things up a bit and left that out in editing; I wouldn't put that past them. Video in Dutch here
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