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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #48)

Wed Jan 15, 2020, 12:06 AM

60. I have to disagree with you about your

statement that "This doesn't happen in secular communities" regarding shunning for going to authorities." Happens often in my experience working with abused children. People in the child's world ignore warning signs that they later admit they saw but "didn't want to make trouble" or "get involved." Sometimes this includes teachers who are mandated by law to report even suspicions. They discount children who try to talk, and keep their own children away from them.. The more respected the perp is, the more people don't want to believe it could be true and the more they ignore warning signs or discount the child's word.

Once a kid does get results, goes to foster care, goes through a trial, etc. they are shunned by other kids as "different" and adults act like the kid is "tainted." Relatives shun the child for having talked.

There's a psychology involved in abuse that often means the abuser's network of friends and other families are inclined to be abusive or to ignore abuse. This friends and family network is the child's world, with no one they trust to turn to for validation that something is wrong.

Being in a secular world, outside of a religious group, does not mean the "authorities" are available, aware, or even effective. I have seen children returned to homes when an investigating detective strongly recommended against it and the children were abused again.

Your reference to "fundamentalist" Amish groups that shun people who go to authorities indicates that, as I said, they vary by individual and community. My concern was the willingness of posters to paint them all with the same brush.

Yes, Amish have a confession and forgiveness principle that often keeps them from filing court charges or testifying. I agree that it is especially a problem in sex crimes if the community treats the crimes that way due to recidivism in sex crimes. Some communities will leave the decision to the victim or the victim's family in some really hideous crimes. Some will shun the perp regardless of a confession. That protects the community, but not the world at large. In the case of serial killers, I believe they would decide it was their duty to protect against further loss of life by reporting it, but not being Amish, I can't say for sure. I only base that opinion on what I understand of their way of thinking.

How a situation is handled depends on the bishop. He is the head of the church district and the person who advises the people on religious principles and is responsible for church discipline.

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