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The Royal Commission in Australia brought forth the fact that JW Elders never called the police on pedophiles in over 55 years. Not even in instances where the abuser were the parents or immediate family members.
The Jehovah's Witness Church in Australia failed to protect children in its care from sexual predators, a report has found. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse delivered its report into the organisation on Monday. It stated that: "Children are not adequately protected from the risk of child sexual abuse in the Jehovah's Witness organisation and [the commission] does not believe the organisation responds adequately to allegations of child sexual abuse." Survivors of sexual abuse within the church and senior church members appeared before a public hearing last year. The inquiry heard the church received allegations of child sexual abuse involving more than 1000 of its members over a 60-year period but did not report a single claim to police. In its report on the inquiry, the royal commission found that the organisation's general practice of "not reporting serious instances of child sexual abuse to police or authorities, demonstrated a serious failure on its part to provide for the safety and protection of children." The royal commission determined that the church's response to allegations of child sexual abuse were outdated, including a rule that there must be two witnesses to an incident, which "showed a serious lack of understanding of the nature of child sexual abuse". "It noted the rule, which the Jehovah's Witness organisation relies on, and applies inflexibly even in the context of child sexual abuse, was devised more than 2000 years ago," the report found. Royal commission chairman Justice Peter McClellan. Photo: Jeremy Piper The Jehovah's Witnesses approach to handling claims internally was not appropriate for children or survivors of sexual abuse, the report found. "Survivors are offered little or no choice in how their complaint is addressed, sanctions are weak with little regard to the risk of the perpetrator re-offending." The head of the Jehovah's Witness community's service desk, Rodney Spinks, is considering the report and is expected respond on Monday afternoon.