Tip of the iceberg in Jehovah's Witness child abuse disclosures

Survivors from across the UK told the BBC they were routinely abused and that the religion's own rules protected perpetrators.

The organisation said it did not "shield" abusers and any suggestion of a cover-up was "absolutely false".

Louise Palmer, who now lives in Evesham, Worcestershire, was born into the organisation along with her brother Richard Davenport, who started raping her when she was four. He is serving a 10-year prison sentence for the abuse.

The 41-year-old, formerly of Halesowen, West Midlands, said she was told not to go to police.

Charles Derham head of the abuse team at Verisona Law comments "It is not acceptable to be shunned and silenced by policies of a religious body. The two witness rule should not be abided by if there is risk that an individual can evade prosecution and continue to abuse others."

If you, or a loved one, have been affected by sexual abuse and wish to discuss whether you have a viable claim, please do not hesitate to contact our team of specialist child abuse lawyers who will be happy to speak to you ain the strictest of confidence.

Below is a selection of organisations/instutions/bodies we are frequently instructed to pursue.


  • Private schools, boarding schools, local authority schools, closed schools, hospital schools.


  • The Scouts Association, St Johns Ambulance, MIND, the Children’s Society, Barnados.

Private companies

  • Football trainers, judo teachers, dance instructors, swimming instructors, holiday activity centres, nurseries, youth clubs.

Local Authorities/Ministry of Defence

  • County Councils, Borough Councils, City Councils, ILEA, cadets, navy/ army (forces).

National Health Service Trusts/Commissioning Boards/GPs

  • Hospitals, Disability care centres, children’s care providers.


  • Convicted perpetrators, acquitted perpetrators.

Children’s Homes

  • Respite care, full time children’s home, part-time children’s homes.

Religious Institutions

  • Roman Catholic Church, United Synagogue, Sisters of Nazareth, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Brothers Order.

Foster Carers

  • Permanent carers, temporary carers

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