Sunday, April 24, 2016

Child sex abuse widespread in Exclusive Brethren, research claims

Former Exclusive Brethren turned academic Jill Mytton
Four out of ten former Exclusive Brethrens who responded to a study looking at traumatic experiences growing up in the sect say they were sexually abused as children in New Zealand.

The study, carried out by a former Brethren, found 18 of 44 participants claimed they had been sexually abused as children.

The figure was significantly higher than the worldwide average, which found around 27 per cent claimed they had suffered child sex abuse.

It's the first piece of academic research into allegations of abuse suffered by members of the church.

Researcher Jill Mytton, from the United Kingdom, believes levels of child sexual abuse in the former member population are much higher than in the general population.

"That appears to be particularly high in New Zealand though, and this warrants further investigation."

Mytton said she could not be sure who the abusers were in every case, but those who had spoken to her said that their abusers were members of the Brethren.

Mytton said said she came under attack by the Brethren and her study was suddenly cancelled by her UK-based university after the Brethren made legal threats.

"I was in the process of finding out about that when legal action by the Brethren halted the research. The university who were hosting the research pulled the plug I assume because they feared a lawsuit."

The Brethren commissioned three academics, professors from the University College London and Warwick University, who severely criticised Mytton's research.  (more...)

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