Victim Support Netherlands will soon have a special reporting point for victims of sexual abuse within the Jehovah's Witnesses. This has been decided because the community itself refuses to set up such a reporting point, Minister Sander Dekker (Legal Protection) wrote in a letter to the Lower House on Thursday.
According to the Ministry of Justice and Security, Dekker feels "forced" to take this step. The board of the religious community was repeatedly called in vain to establish a reporting point.
The call came after an investigation by the Scientific Research and Documentation Center (WODC) into sexual abuse within the Jehovah's Witnesses. According to the report, it is plausible that reporting a crime is complicated by the closed nature of the community and that this also entails risks for the victim.
"I expect every community or organization to do everything to combat sexual abuse and to help and support victims," said the minister. "That does not happen with the Jehovah's Witnesses and I find that extremely bad." He is therefore looking at the possibility of introducing a reporting obligation for these types of organizations.
Dekker also reports on Thursday that the GGD and the police are actively informed of the investigation results. In this way he hopes that they will be able to better recognize any signs of sexual abuse within the closed community. In addition, the Reclaimed Voices Foundation receives financial support in helping the victims.
See also: The main points of the Jehovah's Witnesses abuse report