Jehovah’s Witnesses – Domestic Violence / Abuse, A Few Questions?

I want to ask a few questions about an article from a Watchtower magazine, it’s from the following Watchtower Study Edition;

(Watchtower (Study Edition) Feb 2012, pp 29)

Selma recalls a lesson she learned from the Witness who studied with her. “On one particular day,” says Selma, “I didn’t want to have a…

The real issue with this article was not so much the husband’s abusive actions, but rather the Watchtower’s approach to the problem. What the Watchtower is basically saying to the abused sister is to just take it and try not to complain. Give him what he wants. After he gets tired of abusing her, they are hoping he will have a change of heart and become a JW. But that is not real life.

Abuse can come in many forms. He might not ever physically hit her, but he might threaten her with injury or death. He might ignore her needs. He might deny her material goods like new clothes or having her hair done. He might not let her drive a car. He might not let her have any friends or contact with her family. The ways men abuse their wives is infinite. Wives can be just as abusive to their husbands. The Watchtower teaches that women should always be submissive to their fathers, husbands and other older men (elders in the congregation, their adult sons). In fact, they are supposed to even cover their heads before leading a prayer in the presence of their minor male children.

What this article does illustrate is that when an abused sister goes to the elders pleading for help, they will generally do nothing except read a few scriptures to her about being submissive to her husband, tell her to try harder by maybe offering her husband more sex or cooking better meals. I’ve never heard of a group of elders actually calling the police to report a sister being physically abused or her children being in danger.

That is why this article in particular was the subject of many blog articles and YouTube videos by other JWs and ex-JWs critical of the Watchtower’s lack of action and not so subtle support of male domination of women. Here are two excellent posts by someone who is still a Jehovah’s Witness:

Jehovah Witness News Topix

When I first read this paragraph, I admit, I was at first taken aback. However, I trust that it would become clearer as I read on and try and understand the point.

Being a Jehovah’s Witness there are going to be some things you will not understand. If you love Jehovah and God’s word the bible you ask in prayer for understanding. Yet Jehovah will not tolerate one to ask with the meaning to discredit. You ask for further understanding. You patiently wait on Jehovah to give you that understanding. It is too bad that witnesses, like you possibly, did not wait for a complete understanding and so you give yourself an excuse to make yourself feel more justified that you left a “dysfunctional organization” as you claim.

I have a Jehovah’s Witness aunt that was in an abusive relationship. He would beat her frequently when she would come home from the meetings. He would not allow her to have the bible in the house. He verbally abused her as well. Let’s take out her being a JW. He would have abused her anyway. He used her religion as an excuse. She still would have stayed because that is the psychological syndrome that women go through called Stockholm Syndrome. This is someone that stays with their abuser. In this article and with my aunt the choice was to stay with their husband. If that is the choice she wanted to make, how can she make the best of it. The advice is to be Christian like as much as possible. That is what my aunt did. In later years when he was 60 years old he suffered a stroke and had to be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Guess what? No more abuse, and he had to go to the meetings with her because she was not going to miss a meeting. That shows the love she has for Jehovah. He eventually died and she is now free to serve Jehovah without any distractions. Was she afraid to divorce him because of the repercussions? No. She loved her husband in a strange way and that is why she stayed. Her niece, a JW, divorced her husband and was not disfellowshipped. There are sisters that divorce without the grounds of adultery and the only thing they cannot do is remarry until their ex has committed adultery in Jehovah’s eyes. If they remarry before that, then they have committed adultery in Jehovah’s eyes and will be disfellowshipped. So you have it all wrong and yes YOU have missed some key points.

Personal experience – my husband is an unbeliever. When I became reinstated he was not happy. We have children and he forbade my children from going and I could not take them with me. He would be verbally abusive in that he would speak disrespectful to me constantly when I came back from the meetings and service. The elders would ask about my husband if he was amiable towards me being a JW. I said no and explained why I do not have my children with me. Not once did they instruct me to leave or stay with him. They would encourage me to keep coming to the meetings and study the bible and most of all pray to Jehovah. I did all of these things. And I didn’t want to leave my husband because I loved him. Eventually after many years, my husband started to ease up. My children were able to attend and he would even help get them ready. I now do not get any resistance. It took 10 years. I waited on Jehovah and kept my love for him in focus. I am very happy for I have a good relationship with Jehovah, my husband and I am still apart of his organization. 🙂 . The best of all worlds. Endurance, patience and understanding is the key.

You totally misunderstood the whole experience.

After reading the verses in 1 Corinthians 13, she made the statement that her husband never does those things for her. But the sister helped her to see that SHE was the one trying to be a Christian, not her husband. In other words, how can you expect someone who has no desire to worship Jehovah to have the same moral principles as someone who is trying to? That’s what the sister wanted her to appreciate. She never once said stay with your husband or leave him.

The bible gives grounds for separation and divorce. It is the persons personal choice to leave or stay, provided they understand fully what the consequences of that may bring. Questions like the one you just posted are usually made by someone trying to make excuses not worship Jehovah. If that is not what you wanna do, be a woman/ man about it and walk away. Nobody is forcing you. But to go out of your way to speak ill of Jehovah’s organization spells coward and wicked.

Don’t drag other people into your mess. Go down alone.

You have truly went off the deep end. Why try and use this kind of scenario to berate any religion. The Jehovah Witness had no right to go in that woman’s home and tell her to leave her husband. It is not her place. The woman did not suggest she wanted to leave her husband either. According to the article Selma said, even before she got the truth, living with Steve was like walking around on eggshells. He was hot tempered. So Selma was already in a situation with her husband. Had she wanted to leave she could have left long before the Witnesses came on the scene. If she was going to stay with her husband the Jehovah Witness was trying to give he helpful points not to set him off he was a ticking time bomb. She was telling her there were things she could try to settle her husband down. The point is the woman wanted to stay it wasn’t the Jehovah Witness decision to make she was trying to help her through the decision the wife made to stay.

This assassination you just went on was uncalled for. If you hate a religion we can except that, it is your choice. But to take this article so out of context is just wrong. I have never heard Jehovah Witness telling women they had to stay in an abusive marriage as a matter of fact that is one of the reasons they can leave if they feel their safety is in danger. And a Brother can be disfellowshipped for beating his wife. And don’t put words in Jehovah’s mouth he never said women had to stay, women are dear to him. You don’t have to go out of your way to show your hatred. Give people credit for having the intelligence to make an informed decision on their own. They don’t need you to tell them what to do.

You do not understand what was written. Ebby explained it to you and you call her a liar.

Did you go to the Watchtower study? No, probably not. I think what you need to do is stop misleading people.

We know the information as it was written. We know what it means. To read between the lines and make a mountain out of a mole hill is dishonest. Read the article the way it was written. Do not add your own spin to it.

It is futile to try and reason with those in the organization.. simply put… to have them question the organizational teaching in any form would be apostasy… Truth or not..

if not they would have already figured out 1914 is not accurate. but thats another story.

Go to the source and complain to them. I’m sure they will write back with a good response.

Going this way you are going to get nasty remarks that are mostly negative comments by some x- witnesses.

So if you want a good and satisfying response to your question go to the source.

Their address is in the magazine you have or go to their website.

Last years I ran a thread re this subject at in the JW discussion board and it amazed me with what kind of answers the witnesses come up with as you have just experienced ! You know what is even more outrages is that the WTS ran an article comparing young woman to cows in the 15/12/61 p. 767 – 768 Here is a clip from it but if you can hold of the article set yourself ready for a belly of laughs and dismay at the same time:


Thanks to each and everyone of you for the answers.

Leave a Comment