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Open Letter 1

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Foundation Reclaimed Voices
xxxxxxxxxx
xxxx xx Roermond

Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses in the Netherlands
xxxxxxxxxx
xxxx xx EMMEN

 

Roermond, 24 November 2017

 

Subject: Reaction to your ruling under conditions with us wanting to enter into conversation.

Dear Sirs,

We have noted with interest your response to RTV Noord after you had been informed about the establishment of our foundation Reclaimed Voices. In your response you indicate that you want to talk to us under certain conditions. We would like to make use of this offer and hear from you under what conditions you want this conversation to take place.

We consider it of great importance that care is central to reports of sexual abuse. The victim deserves all love, help and support in the processing of the trauma. It is important that a victim feels heard and acknowledged in what has been done to him or her.

From stories of people who were abused within your organization, we got the impression that they did not feel heard. They were also not asked how they wanted it to be acted on. This has led us to set up our foundation in order to offer victims the opportunity to tell their story.

Because we want to give victims a voice and to make our foundation public, we have looked up the media. In response, we receive stories about sexual abuse within Jehovah's Witnesses. In the meantime, cases of sexual abuse within your organization have become known to our 46 foundation.

As an organization with high moral standards you will undoubtedly be concerned about sexual abuse that takes place within your religious community. We expect you to do everything to ensure that children are protected from sexual abuse and that victims receive the best possible expert assistance.

In an interview we would like to present to you a number of issues that are perceived by victims and us as problematic in the way your organization deals with situations concerning sexual abuse. Because of this problem abuse victims do not feel heard or acknowledged and perpetrators sometimes seem to go free. Moreover, we can put you in touch with organizations that can guide you from their professionalism in order to adapt your working methods to reports of sexual abuse to the needs of the victim.

Awaiting your reply,

 

Raymond Hintjes, chairman
Bernadette Meulens, secretary
Frank Huiting, treasurer
Aswin Suierveld, general board member

Foundation Reclaimed Voices

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