Silent No More: The Survivors
Pittsburgh Action News
By Mark Albert
Chief National Investigative Correspondent
WASHINGTON — A year-long investigation by the Hearst Television National Investigative Unit has uncovered new allegations of child sexual abuse and decades-long cover-ups inside the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious organization in the United States.
The allegations span states, congregations, and generations and have been the subject of inquiries by attorneys general offices in at least three states, the National Investigative Unit has learned – inquiries that have not been previously reported.
The findings are revealed in a three-part series of news reports this week that shed new light on the burgeoning number of people accusing the Jehovah’s Witnesses of systemic shortcomings in the protection of children within its religious communities.
Fifteen people who grew up in the organization’s teachings and are now adults living in cities from the West Coast to the upper reaches of New England agreed to talk on the record for these reports; 13 of them gathered this spring in Sacramento, California, for the largest television group interview of its kind...
In California, a bill passed the Senate in May that would strip away clergy-penitent privilege, requiring religious leaders of all faiths to report alleged child sex abuse.
"This exemption has caused a lot of abuse of children and we need to stop it,” [Senator Jerry Hill] said in an interview just off the floor of the chamber.
"What we want to do is protect children. And that's what this bill does,” Hill said.