How to Report to the Police

Child sex abuse is a crime.

Report to the Police

God appointed the governing authorities to avenge the one who does wrong. (Romans 13:4)

Anyone with reasonable suspicion of child abuse—evidence is not required—should immediately report it to the governing authorities.

You may make a verbal report to the Child Protection Hotline at 1 (800) 540-4000.

Everyone must submit to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist are instituted by God.

So then, the one who resists the authority is opposing God’s command, and those who oppose it will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority?

Do what is good, and you will have its approval. For government is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, because it does not carry the sword for no reason.

For government is God’s servant, an avenger that brings wrath on the one who does wrong. Therefore, you must submit, not only because of wrath, but also because of your conscience.

—Romans 13:1-5

Report to the Congregation

“If your brother sins against you, go and rebuke him in private.” — Matthew 18:15

In the video “Protect Your Children” Jehovah’s Witness children are taught that they should yell “stop doing that I’m gonna tell on you!”

“If he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he won’t listen, take one or two more with you, so that by the testimony of two or three witnesses every fact may be established.”— Matthew 18:16

When a child’s parents, or the elders on behalf of the child’s family, confront an accused congregation member they are bringing the sin before him, for the purpose of establishing the facts before two or more witnesses.

“If he pays no attention to them, tell the congregation. But if he doesn’t pay attention even to the congregation, let him be like an unbeliever.”— Matthew 18:17

Following God’s provision for handling the sin in the congregation supports his provision for the governing authorities handling the crime in the community.

“Stop doing that I’m gonna tell on you!”

The child should be able to rely on the two witnesses to work with the governing authorities in the investigation of the crime.

When the Watchtower’s elders are chosen as the “two witnesses” to establish the facts they then treat it as a ‘sin’ holding a ‘judicial committee’ with ‘ecclesiastical privilege’.

It is important therefore that a child have two witnesses from the congregation who will testify to the facts, as they are established, when it comes to the criminal investigation—not claim ‘ecclesiastical privilege’.

What’s involved in reporting to the authorities?

You may make a verbal report to the Child Protection Hotline at 1 (800) 540-4000.

Questions Asked

  • What the child said
  • What you observed
  • What the person accompanying the child said
  • Similar past incidents involving the child
  • Similar past incidents involving the accused
  • The name of the child
  • The name of the accused
  • The relationship of the accused to the child
  • Address and/or current location of the accused
  • Provide specific dates and/or time frames for each incident
  • Provide the specific location (address if known) of the incident
  • Who, if anyone, was a witness to the event?
  • Is there anyone else who may know about the incident or who may be able to provide information about the child or the child’s family? Provide the identifying information (name, address, telephone, etc.) and relationship of the person to the child/family.

Provide any further details such as the names of elders who are involved from the congregation.

Once you’ve reported the suspected abuse to the governing authorities, you should send copies—via certified mail with return receipt—to the Service Department Jehovah’s Witnesses at 25 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn NY 11201, and to the body of elders of the local congregation.

View the “Suspected Child Abuse Report” form used for mandatory reporting.