The Catholic Church sex scandal is well-known. Tragically, it is not isolated.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses
The Jehovah’s Witnesses – considered a cult by mainstream Christian denominations for their failure to recognize the full divinity of Christ – maintain what is believed to be the world’s largest database of undocumented child molesters .
The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, the non-profit which oversees the more than 8 million Witnesses, has repeatedly refused to comply with Court orders to release that database.
The Watchtower’s Office of Public Information indicates that its policies on child protection comply with the law. Barring a confession, however, no member can be formally accused of committing a sin without two credible witnesses. Of course, sexual abuse is not generally a public event.
When child molestation is uncovered, the Witnesses do not routinely notify police .
Substantial jury verdicts have been handed down against this religious organization.
The Amish and Mennonites
Investigation into sexual abuse among Amish and Mennonite communities has revealed abuse as “an open secret spanning generations” . At least 52 cases have come to light in the past 20 years, across seven states. But that number does not reflect the true scope of the problem.
Victims who report rape and incest may be sent to “mental health” facilities or threatened with excommunication. Continue reading
Filed under Abuse of Power, Child Abuse, Child Molestation, Christianity, Community, Emotional Abuse, Justice, Law, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Rape, Religion, Sexual Abuse
Indications are that the coronavirus pandemic is increasing domestic violence [1A].
Arrests for domestic violence rose by 27% in Portland,OR in March. Domestic assault and battery reports rose by 21% in Seattle, WA and 22% in Boston, MA during the same period. The Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline has experienced its highest call volume in 20 years.
“Domestic violence is rooted in power and control, and all of us are feeling a loss of power and control right now.”
-Katie Ray-Jones, CEO of National Domestic Violence Hotline [1B]
With stay-at-home orders in place across the country, the isolation victims typically endure has only been heightened. Fear of infection, job and financial losses exacerbate the stress on victims and abusers alike. The fact that gun sales have spiked is not helping the situation . Continue reading
Filed under Child Abuse, Child Molestation, Community, domestic abuse, domestic violence, Emotional Abuse, Law, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Violence Against Women
“Head of Mary Magdalene” by Alexander Ivanov (1834), Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia (PD-Art, PD-Old)
“Mary Magdalene mourns alone.
‘Woman, why are you weeping?’
‘Sir, if you have taken him,
tell me where he is.’
Lightning illumines her darkened soul
when she hears her name
spoken with such tenderness:
We are Emmaus bound,
downcast and discouraged,
without hope or happiness
till a Stranger opens our minds,
sets our hearts on fire,
sits with us at table,
and breaking bread,
bestows on us
and all the world
READERS CAN FIND MY VIEWS ON ABUSE AND ABUSE-RELATED ISSUES AT ANNA WALDHERR A Voice Reclaimed, Surviving Child Abuse https://avoicereclaimed.com
The poet Leonard Cohen spoke of love more powerfully than I ever will. His ode to lost love, “Hallelujah”, seems somehow appropriate to these difficult times.
Abused or not, we have all known heartbreak. The pain can be so bad we find it difficult to breath. But keeping faith is the hard part. Faith in love. Faith in God. Faith that life will once more be worth living.
It is that kind of faith we must find within ourselves right now.
It is easy to shout “hallelujah” when we are in love. Easy to praise God when times are good…though often those are the very times we forget Him. We have to dig deeper when times are tough. Continue reading