At the reporting center for sexual abuse within the Jehovah's Witnesses, eighty reports were received in the first month. Fifty of them came directly to the hotline, the thirty others came through the newspaper Trouw, which recently wrote about the abuse.
Many reports come from people who are no longer members of the organization, says Raymond Hintjes of the foundation Reclaimed Voices, who opened the reporting center. The foundation is counting on more reports. “We have already received many reports, but since more than 30.000 people are members of the Jehovah's Witnesses in the Netherlands, we think this is the tip of the iceberg. We suspect that there are hundreds of cases. "
Victims often do not dare to come out with their story, says Hintjes. "There is still a taboo on talking about sexual abuse. In addition, the Jehovah's Witnesses are a very closed community that resolves these issues through an internal procedure. After that, there is often no mention of it. And if that happens, it is the victim's word against the perpetrator's word.
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