Influx of sexual abuse at Jehovah's Witnesses in Belgium feared

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Creation of Reclaimed Voices Belgium

De rapidly increasing concern worldwide As to how child abuse is dealt with within the Jehovah's Witness community, more and more groups, investigators, and government agencies are sounding the alarm.

After Australia, Canada, United States, ... it seems that attention is now shifting to Europe. In the Netherlands it was the foundation Reclaimed Voices who first came out at the beginning of 2018 with hair-raising stories of victims. Today, the counter of reports is already on more than 300. Witnesses claim to have around 29.000 followers at our northern neighbors.

Stories were slowly starting to come across in Belgium too, and this ensured that the lacsso, better known as the cult watchdog, in December 2018 advised parliament to conduct further investigation into the issue. This resulted in the creation of a working group.

The increased attention of the press, health care providers, the judiciary and various actors in the field and the resulting need for very specific knowledge about doctrines, procedures and practices that determine the everyday life of a witness of Jehovah has led us to decide to establish NPO Reclaimed Voices Belgium.

Goal

The very closed world of a Jehovah's witness is very complex and often difficult to understand for an outsider, which often results in the well-intentioned but incorrect assessment and guidance of victims or the unaware of the mental situation in which they find themselves.

NPO Reclaimed Voices Belgium wants to provide assistance to anyone who is confronted with this problem from far or near and who contribute experience and knowledge that leads to better support for victims.

The second objective of the non-profit association is to try to change the procedures used by the witnesses of Jehovah when dealing with child sexual abuse. Ideally, by making the approximately 25000 members in Belgium aware of the problem and the recognition of it and by helping them to adjust their internal policy in relation to the safety of the child.

The non-profit organization will endeavor to keep this in the interest of the press, healthcare, justice and stakeholders until this goal is achieved.

Pascal Mertens
President
NPO Reclaimed Voices Belgium
Contact: + 32 498857662

Look here the Pano documentary about abuse with the Jehovah's witnesses in Belgium

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