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Untitled Document
a sister writes
A new story on the battered lambs page

I am not disfellowshipped and remain a JW in good standing, my story happened about twenty years ago, when being physically abused was seldom talked about even in daily life. So it was really hard being a Jehovahs Witness and being a victim of abuse, the outside world was just finding out about how serious it was. The witnesses excused it constantly as with everything else, it would bring reproach on Jehovah to make matter public. So I swallowed the silence, I couldn't tell my mom to much because she not a JW, I didn't want to defame God so I just kept taking the abuse; verbal, physical and sexual abuse from a man that was my husband. Finally a neighbor of mine told me about a shelter for battered women. I called them of course I never told them that the man was one of Jehovahs Witnesses because again I have to protect the organization and Jehovah as instructed. The shelter told me there were many women that suffered from JW abusers. I was shocked, I thought there was no way this could be common among Jehovah Witnesses. I explained to the elders I had to get a way from him when in a fit of rage he split my head open, the elders advised that I should not consult worldly organizations (shelters) for help that I should rely on Jehovah instead. Since Jehovah had yet to stop my husband from abusing me, I told them they were not going to poison me. The elders had no concept of how to assist women that were being abused other than saying a prayer and reading bible scriptures on enduring. The shelter understood the psychology of the batterer, they frowned upon it. The shelter took care of me and my three children, fed, clothed and educated me. I was very thankful to them. The elders did nothing but make me feel bad for seeking help. Time passed with the elders encouragement I went back to my apartment to try and reconcile with my husband instead he kidnapped my children using the congregation as a network used different brothers and sisters to hide my children from me. This was at the Kingdom Hall in Cal Garden Grove an elder was involved as well. I lost all contact with my children for several weeks, the elders telling me to trust in Jehovah and keep matters quiet from authorities while they were cooperating with my husband to prevent me from seeing my children. There reasoning was since he was the head of the household he had the right to take my children. I wrote to the home office of JWs in Brooklyn , NY . The elders were instructed by home office to give a talk about respecting authority in the congregation thus presenting me as being a bad person for trying to find my children. I didn't pursue any thing because I didn't want to bring reproach on Jehovah or defame the Garden Grove congregation. As a last resort I finally contacted the police and made a complaint only then did I get cooperation to get my children back.

 

There were many errors in how this was handled. The elders should never discourage any one from going to the authorities, for abuse on anyone. They should never get involved in custody matters. When my ex husband finally had access to my kids again, and he and his new JW wife kept poisoning my children against me telling them that I was a bad person due to not attending meetings on a regular basis, so much for brotherly love. Till this day I still don't have the best relationship with my children because of how they used the organization to hurt us. I am inactive for these reasons, while they may want everyone to think they are nice on the outside my experience is they are horrible in the inside.

Thanks for listening

 

MA

 

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