Our Senior Associate, Kathleen Hallisey, who successfully sued the Jehovah's Witnesses, was interviewed for Reveal News about the UK Charity Commission's investigation into the child protection policies of the Jehovah's Witnesses, which have mishandled sexual abuse allegations against the organisation. With ten separate lawsuits pending against the Witnesses, Hallisey also represents victims of Mark Sewell, a leader in the Jehovah's Witnesses who was convicted of eight sex offences in 2014. In Trey Bundy's article, Hallisey expresses strong support for the Commission and its potential to bring systemic changes: 'I am hopeful that [the investigators'] dedication and diligence in pursuing this investigation will lead to real change in the Watchtower's child protection policies.'
Hallisey's comments refer to the Jehovah’s Witnesses' institutional policies governing the internal handling of sexual abuse allegations, which expressly dissuade members from going to the authorities. Recent reports reveal the way these policies have allowed the organisation to sweep assault accusations 'under the rug'. By discouraging reporting to law enforcement, these policies silence victims and endanger children and vulnerable members in the organisation. Hallisey believes that the Charity Commission's investigators have 'a true understanding' of these 'particular issues that victims of sexual abuse in the Jehovah’s Witness organization face', and that their work should lead to better child protection measures generally in the UK.