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Breaking the Wall of Silence: Protecting Sex Abuse Victims

Posted in Sexual Abuse on Wednesday, May 2, 2018.

Victims of sexual crimes deserve justice. The people who commit these crimes – especially when they are in positions of authority like church elders, teachers and coaches – should be held accountable for their crimes.

However, it is never easy for victims of sexual abuse to come forward and bring legal claims. This problem is increased by the wall of silence created in many organizations, especially religious organizations that often have strict rules and practices that insulate victims from the outside help they need.

The Wall of Silence

A recent article from discusses how rules and insular approach in the Jehovah’s Witness religion increase the problem of sexual abuse and makes obtaining justice increasingly difficult for victims.

Some of the key attributes of organizations creating a wall of silence include:

  • Insulation: Because Jehovah’s Witness and other religions are intentionally insulated from the rest of society, there is significant pressure from within to keep sexual abuse hidden from the outside world. Especially at the upper levels of leadership, there is significant incentive to avoid scandals that could bring their organizations down.
  • Shunning: One concrete expression of the insulation and secrecy around sexual molestation in religious organizations is to shun the victims that come out against their perpetrators.
  • Isolation: The insular secrecy and shunning alienate victims from their loved ones and even from their own families in many cases, further exacerbating the pain of the experience and adding to their sense of helplessness.

Now is the Time to Stand Up

Do not be afraid. If you have been a victim of sexual abuse within a religious organization or other situation, you need help. Our attorneys at Soloff & Zervanos, P.C have decades of experience representing victims of sexual crimes. We will protect you and walk you through the legal process.

You deserve justice.