Saturday, May 2, 2015

Taking a Stand for Abused Children by Lora Watson Tevis

 Edited by Sashkya Arce and Noel Parsons

I want to thank you for accepting me into this group. I am ready to share my experience.  It's only in part, but if it can help someone else, then it would make my heart rejoice.

I was a Jehovah's Witness (JW).  I left the organization Watchtower Society in 1993, when my 3 children were molested by a non-believer.  My ex-mother-in-law informed the body of elders of the congregation that we belonged to.  

After a Sunday meeting, one of the elders approached me in the parking lot as we were walking to our car to leave.  One of the elders told me that my ex-mother-in-law told them what had happened.  He went on to say that the elders in the congregation can help my family through this matter. I turned to the elder, looked him directly in his eyes and said, "You nor any other elder has a degree in psychology.  Nor do you have the experience in dealing with this heinous wrongdoing to my children."  I replied to the elder inside, "This will be the last time I will ever step foot on the grounds of Jehovah's Witness's property, since you are so ignorant and yet offering the service."  As a good parent and a loving mother, this was reported to the police and the girl was placed on a pedophile list.  

When I was 15 years old and a virgin, I was raped by a 19-year-old young man, who was a newly baptised JW.  He, of course, had already had sex before.  After it happened, I came home feeling dirty and defiled.  I told my mother and she called the elders at midnight.  They had a committee meeting at midnight at the Kingdom Hall.  I told them I was raped by the young man, but did not truly wish to repeat details about the whole ordeal.  The elders said to me in the meeting that it was my fault, that I seduced him. They even went as far as to say that I was like Dinah. In the story of Dinah, she gets into trouble.

Another situation, which I need to tell you about, is what JWs started doing to me, as far back as when I was 4 years old.  I was also molested by two teenage boys, who were JWs, at that time.  I did not tell what was happening to me.  My mom had noticed that my privates (genitals) were red again.  She reported it to the elders.  I was 4 years old and in a committee meeting with three elders sitting in front of me.  They went on to tell me that it was wrong to masturbate, to touch my privates and Jehovah does not love nor approve of what I was doing to my privates.  

My mother was told by the JW elders and a 'sister,' who was active in the field ministry (active 'publisher') and also, a mother of three boys to chain my hands to the top of my bed and my feet to the end of my bed so I was unable to touch my privates.  We were with this family on a daily basis and my mother would check my privates on a daily basis.  If my privates were red my mother would strip me naked and beat me with a belt or a rose bush switch from head to toe.  Yeah, my mother was still an active publisher when she passed away in February, 2014.  Yes, I did step on JW property to attend her memorial service, but I will never again. 

I am writing this so all of you who are suffering in similar circumstances can know that you're not alone.  We survivors all need to stick together for moral support and we are not alone.  The heinous crime that was done should not be done to any child or adult. The Jehovah's Witnesses need to be stopped.  I do believe in my heart and soul that all children raised by JWs should be taken from them for mental emotional and physical abuse.  The children need to be saved.  I could go on, but it would blow your mind!  We all need to hang in there, because the grass truly is 'greener on the other side,' after leaving the JWs.  I truly have empathy for all of you, and unconditional love!