How child abuse goes unchecked for Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses

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A reckoning is taking place in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Jehovah’s Witnesses as stories emerge of child sex abuse.

Years ago, outrage erupted over how the Catholic Church allowed such abuse to go unchecked, but fewer may be aware of how other faiths are covering up abuse in their ranks.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also known as Mormons, and Jehovah’s Witnesses are reportedly making use of a legal exemption for clergy which allows abuse to go unreported. The exemption dictates that religious members who hear about abuse through confession are not required to report it to authorities.

Recently, newly released recordings revealed the lengths the Mormon church will go to cover up abuse and assault. Those recordings are part of a case involving Chelsea Goodrich, who grew up in the Mormon church. Her father was a bishop and began abusing her at the age of two. We hear her story and a former Jehovah’s Witness turned advocate.

We also highlight the latest reporting from Al Jazeera’s Fault Lines documentary, “Secrets of the Clergy”:

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