A press release issued in 2002 by Jehovah's Witnesses' Office of Public Information stated: "In addition to making a report to the branch office, the elders may be required by law to report even uncorroborated or unsubstantiated allegations to the authorities.If so, the elders receive proper legal direction to ensure that they comply with the law." The Watchtower has outlined the following policy: "Depending on the law of the land where he lives, the molester may well have to serve a prison term or face other sanctions from the State.According to the Watch Tower Society's spokesperson, J. Brown, such ones are only allowed to preach when accompanied by a responsible adult.A 1997 issue of The Watchtower article stated: "For the protection of our children, a man known to have been a child molester does not qualify for a responsible position in the congregation.Elders are encouraged to treat persons reporting this type of memory with kindness, but not to pursue the case unless further proof is found.Abuse victims may be required to face their abuser to make an accusation, as stated on the Society's official website: "If the accused denies the charge, the two elders may arrange for him and the victim to restate their position in each other’s presence, with elders also there." If allegations of child abuse satisfy the organization's religious tenets, an internal judicial committee is formed, and the accused individual may potentially be relieved of positions of responsibility in the congregation.Various individuals, courts and the media around the world have raised concerns about the manner in which cases of child sexual abuse are handled when they occur in congregations of Jehovah's Witnesses.although more specific guidelines are only made available to elders, or on request.
In 2016 a UK judge upheld a ruling against the Jehovah's Witnesses for failing to protect a victim of child sexual abuse, and the supreme court rejected an attempt by the Watch Tower Society to block a Charity Commission inquiry into how the organisation's charity handles allegations of abuse.
This was the culmination of two years of legal proceedings in five different courts and tribunals.
The commission's attorney said that "WTBTS has at every stage relentlessly challenged the legal basis and scope of the Charity Commission's inquiry".
Since 1991, statements by two victims of separate incidents by the same perpetrator may be deemed sufficient to take action and impose internal sanctions.
argue that such an approach to determining guilt overlooks the seriousness of the initial abuse, and effectively allows a pedophile to go unpunished until he or she has been caught abusing two or more different victims.