EKSTRA BLADET 5/12-2004
RAPED BY MY JEHOVAH-FATHER
HYPOCRITES!: The sect dismissed the young womanýs accusations as a fabrication - until the father confessed.
"The three elders did not believe me at all. They all said it was a pure fabrication." Anne H - today a middle aged mother with two adult children - remembers all to well the day she told the Jehovah's Witnesses about the sexual abuse that her father, a highly respected member of the organization, had subjected her to. Forced intercourse - rape, from the age of 14 until she moved at 17. "When I was 21 and had my first baby, I heard that my father was to speak at an assembly in front of a huge crowd at the Foelledpark in Copehagen. It was time to put an end to the hypocrisy. I went to the congregation and told them the truth. But they completely rejected me."
"Not until two years later when I myself was able to get my father to confess, did the congregation interfere."
"They gave him reproof. Nothing else," Anne H tells us, she lives someplace in Jutland and wants to remain anonymous, among other things because her children don't know anything about the family tragedy.
Anne H., who herself works with underprivileged children is still deeply affected by the gross abuse in her teenage years.
- It has taken me many years to learn to live with such serious abuse. I am still unable to forgive those people in the Jehovah's Witnesses, who in an arrogant and condescending manner rejected me, when I told them the truth.
- It was unbelievably embarrassing, remembers Anne H, which has used memory therapy drawing as self-therapy.
- I was interrogated by three Jehovah-leaders, the so-called elders, from the congregation in Copenhagen . I told them about the abuse. But from the very beginning I could see that they were not going to believe me.
After the interrogation the elders went to Anne H's father and confronted him with his daughter's story.
- He denied it all, and my family rejected me. For many years they didn't even greet me on the street, the woman remembers. She still suffers painful harm from her father's abuse.
- Still I can not stand the smell of old apples, because it was old apples in the basement where my father raped me.
Father tried to kill himself
When Anne H., about two years after she accused her father to the Jehovah's Witnesses she decided to go to him directly and force a confession out of him, he tried to commit suicide.
- But after a while he confessed to the abuse. When the elders learned about this he was subjected to a public reproof in the congregation's Kingdom Hall.
- Here the congregation was told that my father had conducted himself in a manner unsuitable for a Christian. He wasn't disfellowshipped. It still hurts that they didnýt count his crime more serious then that, says Anne H.
Anne H, has left Jehovah's Witnesses a long time ago, but she is still angry that the sect as documented in Ekstra Bladet, continue to treat people that was sexually abused some years ago with the same careless indifference as before.
"It is quite clear that even today I wouldn't have been believed. After all I didn't tell them about the abuse until almost 5 years afterwards, I was so afraid. I am not saying that there are more abusers among Jehovah's Witnesses then anywhere else. But it is deeply reprehensible that they cover up such crimes and hide away both the abuse and an unknown number of victims. I know how horrible it is and how it hurts to be abused, humiliated and degraded," says Anne H.
BY NIELS WESTBERG The paper also published two of Anne H drawings which were pretty ghastly.