How a Bible Student Family Copes with the Rape of 15 Year Old Daughter

CQRadioHow would you cope with the rape of your 15 year old daughter?  Or how would you cope if you were the victim?  Are you a member of a JW family that was struck with the tragedy of sexual assault on yourself or a family member?  How did you deal with it?  How did your family deal with it?  Was your congregation able to provide the needed support?

Such a tragedy struck a Bible Student family.  How did they cope with it?  Why would Jehovah permit such heartbreak?  How can we heal and move forward from such a calamity?

Tragedy is a part of life. We all know those who have suffered through it. Many times it gets the best of people, and sometimes people cope, but occasionally you find those who truly overcome it to a point that the tragedy is merely a memory and can serve as a tool of growth and example.  So now, we will tell such a story.  It is true story of bad things happening and how faith in God, perseverance and the right help transformed those bad things into overcoming lives.

1 Cor 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.  God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it

Click here for the recording: 

3 comments to How a Bible Student Family Copes with the Rape of 15 Year Old Daughter

  • Stanley L

    It was late 1985 when we found out our 12 year old daughter had been raped and impregnated.

    How did we deal with it? we found out the rapes had been committed by employees of a company which was a front for a child pornography & prostitution ring. So we sued them. We also sought help and emotional support from the Witness congregation we were in only to find out we were on our own. And as if that weren’t enough, the elders kicked us while we down by declaring our daughter a fornicator instead of a rape victim and having our daughter officially shunned and the rest of the family effectively shunned as well.

    It was a small town and the owners of the front business used the actions of the Witnesses to put even more pressure on us to drop our suit by spreading gossip around town about how not even our “church believed” our daughter’s “lies” about being raped. Only three families out of a town of about 20,000 had anything to do with us, and none of them were Witnesses.

    The betrayal by the congregation was the most painful and bitter thing the Witnesses did to us as a family the entire time my family was part of that flock. It was also the deepest betrayal of several the whole time I was a Witness. It moved me to setup my own personal Bible studies independent of the Watchtower study program. One brother pointed out to me that that study and reflection was a rebellion against the dictates of the Organization and the real beginning of my journey out.

    That being said, my studies weren’t enough at the time to help us cope with what was happening, so we coped poorly as we’d had our entire support network pulled right out from under us by the elders. Although our daughter was eventually “reinstated,” we eventually fell apart as a family and there are still hard feelings associated with that on the part of the daughter in connection with what happened.

    That is only one example of the mistreatment I experienced at the hands of my supposed “brothers,” the ones who the Organization declared were so loving they would die for me and mine. I have plenty of reasons to hate the Witnesses, but I refuse to indulge that ugly emotion. Instead, I am here to the extent I can to help those looking for an acceptable alternative without judgment.

    • Peter K. (admin)

      Stanley – I am so sorry to hear about your family tragedy.

      Certainly, our brethren should be available to encourage and support us in times of personal tragedy.

      Romans 12:15 (NAS) “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.”

      1 John 3:14 (NAS) “We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death.”

      Even if the elders believed your daughter was at fault, the Bible advises compassion and encouragement, not shunning.

      Romans 12:10 (NAS) “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor1 ¶ Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens,”

      Galatians 6 (NKJV) “1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens…”

      How would the elder’s treat Jesus if He attended today’s kingdom hall’s while at the same time associating with sinners.

      Matt 11:19 (NAS) “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.”

      Stanley – It is sad how this experience tore your family apart when you needed the encouragement and support of the brethren the most. We can only trust that in some way this experience has made you stronger and better prepared to be part of Jesus’ merciful and sympathetic priesthood (Hebrew 2:17) which is to bless all mankind in the kingdom. (Gal 3:8, 29)

      Romans 8:28 (NAS) “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

      • Stanley L.

        Thank you Br. Peter:

        My apologies for taking so long to reply to your encouragement, but you can imagine it is still a touchy subject and what it took to post that. I knew at the time and do agree that the Bible counsels compassion and understanding, but that is not what the Witnesses are about. They embrace judgement as a group, judgement without mercy as they understand Jehovah to be. I do compare their attitude to that expressed by Johnathan Edwards in his sermon “Sinners In the Hands of An Angry God.”

        They see Jehovah as an angry god ready to send as many people into the second death as he can. They believe that he will rain down fiery destruction on those who aren’t Jehovah’s Witnesses at Armageddon, and that not even being a JW will guarantee one’s survival and avoidance of the second death at that time. One can never truly be sure of their salvation for God may find some reason for them to lose out, perhaps not going door to door enough, or some secret little sin of attitude or whatever.

        I’ve observed that throughout history worshipers tend to be like the God they serve, or their vision of him in the case of those who claim to serve the Christian God. How else, along with Satanic inspiration, can one explain the horrific tortures inflicted by religionists on “heretics” during the dark ages and the reformation by both sides? Such views lend to phariseeism, imposing infinite rules on their flocks. The witnesses are no exception with their rules, often not even publicly published so that a Witness may find him or herself before one of their Star-Chamber Judicial Committees being judged according to rules they have no certain knowledge of or permitted any access to.

        So the Witnesses are sheep who are knocked around and bruised. They need love. And that’s what we find in the truth. I’m sorry, I cannot bring myself to listen to the recording. But I do know the story had a different ending. Why? Because I’ve seen the love the brethren had. I know how an ecclesia would react to something like that happening to one of their own. Even were it not rape I know more effort would be expended to help such an erring one than what I saw among the Witnesses. But the bottom line is that as an ecclesia the victim and her family would’ve had what my daughter and family never had, help in every way possible.

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