The founder of SilentLambs.org has started up JWChildCustody.com to highlight the issues connected with JW divorces, and to help to protect the children of divorcing parents when only one of the parents is a Jehovah’s Witness.
If you are a parent who is going through a divorce from someone who is a Jehovah’s Witness, this site is a valuable resource for you. There is a toll free number to set up a free consultation as well as email correspondence for specific legal issues. Know that it is always in the interest of the organization for the children to stay with the JW parent. The Watchtower Bible and Tract corporations provide legal help to help ensure that this happens. Parents who may have left the organization are frequently “demonized” to their own children! There have been few resources as yet for parents who are targeted for this treatment, and little recourse in a legal system that remains largely unaware of the psychological issues involved.
If you are a former JW, please take action! Individuals are needed who can write legal affidavits (a personal, written, and notarized statement) regarding their personal knowledge or experience of the following:
- Medical Issues – Blood and how you were affected: why you believed in not taking blood transfusions or other blood products of any kind. Did you or any member of your family suffer any kind of loss as a result of the blood doctrine?
- Alienation from Non-JW Family Members, including parents and siblings – how (and why) you or family members made a choice not to have normal relations with non-JWs. How did you view non-JW members of your family if you grew up as a JW? How did others in your family view them? How were non-JW members of your family treated by JW adults and children?
- Isolation from Society – How (and why) you personally were affected as a child by beliefs about worldly associations, school activities, higher education, careers, patriotism, and interaction with people outside the organization as a whole.
- Theocratic Warfare – Your personal belief as a Jehovah’s Witness about being truthful (and whether you were ever encouraged to lie) to worldly authorities. What was acceptable behavior if you felt your beliefs or religion were being threatened in any way? In what ways or circumstances was there a different standard for within the organization, and outside it?
I am pleased to see some action on this area. The most heartbreaking letters I receive have to do with destructive family dynamics. Shunning and alienation from non-JW family members can be very extreme.
All by itself, divorce is a hard enough thing for children to navigate.
Silent Lambs has been speaking up for the powerless for some time. Thanks for caring about the children. I am very proud of Bill and Janet Bowen, and of all the people who have contributed – in all their different ways – to getting the message out there. Public awareness has grown, and there are now documented resources for anyone who cares to look.
Kudos to Silent Lambs – silent no more, victims no more.
Since the inception of silentlambs the purpose of the website was to give victims a voice, protect children and educate about child abuse issues. After hearing over 6,000 abuse stories in the last seven years everything that was stated in the beginning has proven itself to be the truth about the cover up of abuse in the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
We have simply asked for specific actions to protect children.
Report all allegations of abuse to police
Never reappoint pedophiles to positions of authority.
Never allow pedophiles to call on the homes of the public.
To this day not one of these simple requests has been enacted as policy of the organization.
I continue to hope that even within the JW congregations, there will be recognition that major reforms are long overdue, that policies of cruelty and fear and domination and exploitation show no signs of the spirit of love. I hope this for the wider community too…