AO Advocates has secured an award of £275,000 for our client in compensation for the abuse she suffered as a child at the hands of Peter Stewart, a Ministerial Servant of the Jehovah's Witnesses. This success marks the first time that a civil claim has been brought against the organisation for child abuse. We hope that it will serve to encourage more survivors of child sexual abuse to come forward.
In an interview with the BBC, Kathleen Hallisey, our Senior Associate, called for the Jehovah’s Witnesses organisation to implement better child safeguarding policies. She also said that this verdict should serve as a wake-up call to members that child sexual abuse is a serious problem within their organisation which calls for the introduction of mandatory reporting, to ensure that all reports of child sexual abuse are reported to the police.