An Annual Event
Each year on the 26th of July, Jehovah’s Witness survivors and friends commemorate the Watchtower Victims Memorial Day.
This international day is to mourn and respect victims of the unconscionable and dangerous corporate policies of Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, the parent organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Watchtower Victims Memorial Day honors, by remembering, the thousands of Jehovah’s Witness abuse victims and survivors. Such due honor is often expressed by peacefully leaving a note or stuffed toy attached to the gate of a local Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
A reason to Say Sorry
In 2015 and 2017 the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (CARC) published findings that among 68,000 active Jehovah’s Witnesses in Australia, there were over ‘1800 alleged victims of child sexual abuse’. Not a single one of these cases was reported by the church to the authorities.
The CARC’s Final Report Recommendations for Case Study 29 stated:
- ‘The Jehovah’s Witness organisation should abandon its application of the two-witness rule in cases involving complaints of child sexual abuse.’ (Recommendation 16.27)
- ‘The Jehovah’s Witness organisation should revise its policies so that women are involved in processes related to investigating and determining allegations of child sexual abuse.’ (Recommendation 16.28)
- ‘The Jehovah’s Witness organisation should no longer require its members to shun those who disassociate from the organisation in cases where the reason for disassociation is related to a person being a victim of child sexual abuse.’ (Recommendation 16.29)
The leaders of the Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses
The current eight male members of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses have not publicly acknowledged the suffering of child abuse victims and they have refused to recognise the official figures released by the CARC.
The Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses refuses to say sorry to child abuse survivors. To date, the church has not signed up to the Australian National Redress Scheme.
© Los Angeles Times. Original cartoon by Horsey. Speech dialogue added.
This August, a peaceful protest will be held in London, to highlight the serious and persistent global child abuse problem within the Church of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Survivors and former Jehovah’s Witnesses from at least nine other countries, including Australia, have committed to being in London during the peaceful event.
During the event, a resolution will be presented requesting that the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses say sorry, implement the CARC’s recommendations, and join the Australian National Redress Scheme.
‘Say Sorry’ | How you can help
To coincide with the 2018 Watchtower Victims Memorial Day the ‘Say Sorry’ campaign was be launched. We encourage everyone to bookmark and follow the SaySorry.org website as it grows over the coming months.
Please show your support for the survivors and victims and help us all receive an apology.
Watchtower Victims Memorial Day is an annual opportunity for everyone to be supportive and show solidarity.
The Say Sorry Team