Child abuse

Covered-up sexual child abuse in Germany

Covered sexual child abuse at Jehovah’s Witnesses – highlighted by investigative German TV channel „Report Mainz” at Nov. 27th, 2018

German Commission: Child Sexual Abuse by Jehovah’s Witnesses

On November 24, 2020, the Independent Commission for Processing Child Sexual Abuse spoke in a confidential setting with experts about sexual abuse of children and adolescents of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The board and members of the JZ Help e.V. association were interviewed.

Investigation in United Kingdom

Decision – Charity Inquiry: Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Britain – Charity Commission for England and Wales, 4 August 2023

Child protection in religious organisations and settings – Investigation Report – Independent Inquiry Child Sexual Abuse IICSA, September 2021

Sky News has heard allegations that elders from the Jehovah’s Witnesses failed to act over child sex abuse claims in the church. The allegations range from a failure to report cases to the police, to the demand for high thresholds of proof from the victim.
Lacie who was born into a Jehovah Witness community, Lacie knew no other life and was content with her ‘normal’ until she started to develop into puberty and that is when the sexual abuse started and the dark side of the Jehovah’s Witness world came to light in this documentary styled interview, Lacie explains how up until the age of 22 the abuse continued until she finally spoke up. Lacie speaks of her Witness community and the red flags she knew of, but was too afraid to speak about. After a long traumatic legal fight, her perpetrator was finally convicted. This is Lacie’s story of her upbringing in a modern day cult.

‘There was no reprimand, nothing changed’: Survivors criticise Jehovah’s Witness elders for failing to act over child sexual abuse claims
Sky News, 1 September 2021

Victims ‘told not to report’ Jehovah’s Witness child abuse
BBC NEWS, 20 November 2017


The religious organisation is being sued over its alleged failure to protect a then-11-year-old girl, and more cases are waiting in the wings
ABC News, broadcast, 13 Sep 2021
Inside the brutal world of the Jehovah’s Witnesses
ABC News, article, 12 Sep 2021
Escaping Jehovah’s Witnesses: Inside the dangerous world of a brutal religion | Four Corners
ABC News, broadcast, 13 Sep 2021

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
REPORT OF CASE STUDY NO. 29 – The response of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Australia Ltd to allegations of child sexual abuse

Hundreds of Jehovah’s Witnesses accused of sex abuse
A royal hearing for sexual abuse in Australia has named hundreds of Jehovah’s Witnesses as alleged child sexual abusers.
CNN – Video

Australia Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘did not report 1,000 alleged abusers’
BBC NEWS, 27 July 2015


Supreme Court of the State of New York vs. the Governing Body of Jehova’s Witnesses, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York and Christian Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses
Decision and Order from July 14, 2022

Secret Database of Child Abuse

In March 1997, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, the nonprofit organization that oversees the Jehovah’s Witnesses, sent a letter to each of its 10,883 U.S. congregations, and to many more congregations worldwide.  The letter laid out instructions on how to deal with a known predator: Write a detailed report answering 12 questions and mail it to Watchtower’s headquarters in a special blue envelope. Thus did the Jehovah’s Witnesses build what might be the world’s largest database of undocumented child molesters—likely numbering in the tens of thousands—and detailed acts of alleged abuse, all scanned and searchable in a Microsoft SharePoint file.

In 2016, a royal commission in Australia found that Watchtower demonstrated a “serious failure” to protect children, including not reporting more than 1,000 alleged perpetrators of sexual abuse (more than half of whom have confessed to committing the abuse) and at least 1,800 victims in that country since 1950. In 2014, the U.K.’s Charity Commission opened two investigations, one of which is ongoing. Last year, in the Netherlands, then–Justice Minister Sander Dekker urged Watchtower to conduct an independent investigation into hundreds of abuse allegations received via a special hotline. Watchtower declined.
(The Atlantic, Mar 22, 2019)

Media reports highlight child abuse within Jehovah’s Witnesses



W5Sex abuse survivors allege coverup by Jehovah’s Witnesses for failing to report assaults:

Part 1: W5’s Avery Haines investigates claims the Jehovah’s Witnesses discouraged members from reporting child sex abuse allegations to police.
Part 2: The Jehovah’s Witnesses are coming under legal scrutiny over their policies on the reporting of child sexual abuse around the world.
Part 3: Child sexual abuse victim and former Jehovah’s Witness Candace Conti speaks about her fight against the Bible-inspired Two Witness Rule.
Part 4: Former Jehovah’s Witnesses are speaking out against the Christian sect at its world headquarters, on social media, and in the legal system.

More cases

Moriah Hughes left the Jehovah’s Witnesses faith after elders in the church turned away when she approached them with accusations of rape against another fellow congregation member when she was 14 and he was 25. Nov. 20, 2019

Confidential Jehovah’s Witness guidelines

more information

Psychological harm

Protect Children from Harm by Destructive Cults
The trauma of being raised in a destructive group is real, causing lasting harm.
Psychology Today, Steven A Hassan PhD, May 8, 2021