Kathleen Conti supports new bill for victims of child abuse

The mother of Candace Conti has appeared on TV in support of an important new piece of legislature

The mother of Candace Conti has appeared on TV in support of an important new piece of legislature

Kathleen Conti, mother of Candace Conti, has appeared on a local news channel to champion a new bill that will make it easier for victims of child abuse in California to pursue justice.

Bill SB131 has already received approval by the state senate. If signed by California Governor Jerry Brown, it will allow child sex abuse victims in that state who were over the age of 26 in 2003 the opportunity to file lawsuits during a one-year period.

Due to the nature of childhood sexual abuse, it can sometimes take decades for victims to understand what was done to them – and by whom. In states such as California, the “statute of limitations” often prevents victims from filing lawsuits once they have passed a certain age – but this legislature will offer a brief window, potentially over 2014, for such victims to come forward regardless of how long ago their abuse was inflicted.

In her CBS news interview, Kathleen Conti took the opportunity to express her frustration at the cloak of secrecy that allows child molesters to thrive in religions such as Jehovah’s Witnesses. “The only way you are going to stop pedophiles is to identify them and warn people and allow us as parents to know who they are within our congregations or within different religious settings. Otherwise, how do we know? How can we protect other children?”

As well as being a support to her daughter Candace, Kathleen Conti is also a representative of SNAP – The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. In response to the bill, SNAP had this to say: “Institutions should and must be held accountable when they know about abuse, do nothing to stop it, and allow abusers to move on and target other innocent children. The passage of SB 131 is the first step in a long civil rights battle for all victims of child sexual abuse.”

As Watchtower continues to be hit with various child abuse lawsuits with or without such legislature, it is to be hoped that Governor Jerry Brown signs off on this important bill. In so doing, he will be allowing more JW child abuse victims in California to come forward, thus increasing pressure on Watchtower to introduce urgently needed reforms that would serve to protect Witness children everywhere.


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13 Responses to Kathleen Conti supports new bill for victims of child abuse

  1. KtotheRAD "Konrad" says:

    “Bill SB131 has already received approval by the US Senate”

    I’m confused…There is proposed Federal legislation in The US as well? That would be fantastic if true that the Feds are taking a look at things, finally!

  2. george says:

    There may be Federal action, but the article relates to California’s Senate.

    Each state is like a mini country. All states have a state senate and House of Representatives, with the role of “president” being taken by the Governor of the state.

    Hope this helps.

    I hope that the Governor signs the bill, and that more brave victims can come forward and receive justice.

    Thanks for the article, Cedars.

  3. Cedars says:

    Thanks for the clarification George. I’ve amended the article accordingly to avoid further confusion!

  4. Zeebo says:

    Great work as ever. This site is the one place to visit for all the latest news and it is so well reviewed and researched that it really is easy to keep up to date on theses complicated things. Thanks John and thanks those who contribute.

  5. KtotheRAD "Konrad" says:

    “Thanks for the clarification George. I’ve amended the article accordingly to avoid further confusion!”

    Yes. This is State level legislation in California and I’m glad you clarified but at the same time I’m disappointed since I had hoped that Federal level legislation had been simultaneously introduced…

  6. WT Critic says:

    If its not Watchtower greed it’s stubbornness to its policy rules

  7. society says:

    ‘potentially over 2014,’ can be changed to ‘potentially all of 2014’

  8. Watchtower desires and instructs the BOE in Congregations around the world of Jehovah’s Witnesses to make every attempt to handle these child abuse cases internally. There are countless issues that make this policy of secrecy a disaster for the victim and puts future children at risk of also being abused. It is an absolute conflict of interest to expect that Elders who are instructed and extensively trained to protect the Watchtower Societies interest first and foremost over any situation that arises, even cases of child abuse to make the right choice in behalf of the abused child. The bottom line is that The Watchtower Society attempts to keep these cases of child abuse secret and contained within the walls of Kingdom Halls and will use intimidation, guilt, deception, lies and fear tactics with child abuse victims and their families. I realize Watchtower that your concern for these victims of child abuse are miles away from what your true concern is “protecting your image” and making sure that these damaged kids don’t receive a dime of your help. And that is why you are in the situation you find your self in today, lawsuits and bad publicity. Next time you start pointing your fingers at the Catholics you better take a good look in the mirror!

  9. 70wksofyrs says:

    Kathleen-Thank you for your post here and all the hard work you have done.

    We are in the process of leaving, but my 11 yr old is at risk of trusting adults who should not be trusted. I want to make sure no one is ever alone with him now, but we must have balance and we cannot presume all adults are potential molesters.

    We can’t keep our eyes off them can we. My daughter has had problems also and has left, and knows about Candace’s case, our sympathy goes out to your whole family.


  10. C M says:

    exactly, the things we were told that are only found in “false religions” and with worldly people are found in the WT Organization…btw it was so nice to have had dinner with you in The City with you Gregorio, Candace, the pastor and her husband…I am still on the down low about my apostate status.

    C M

  11. Beth-S says:

    Great work Cedars,
    thank you very much!

  12. but we must have balance and we cannot presume all adults are potential molesters.

    I agree that we cannot presume who may be a potential pedophile in congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses, that is why we look to our trusted Elder Body in which we are instructed by the Watchtower Society to accept their counsel and be subjection to their leadership. We trust that they will protect and Shepard over the flock, to warn us of a “Known” sexual predator that may be a threat to our young children. If you knew of a known pedophile in the congregation who had already abused a child and this pedophile was now spending time with one of your dear friends young child in that same congregation……Would you warn him of the danger? If you remained silent and that child gets sexually abused you would then be an accomplice to a criminal act against a child. Is this not what the Watchtower is instructing Elders to do when they tell them not to discuss a known child abuser within the congregation, this instruction coming from the Elders at the Service Department. The Watchtower Society, Catholic Church, Penn State and Boy Scouts are not above the law, and they are now starting to be sentenced to prison time for these crimes. I wish you and your family the best with your journey out of the Watchtower. Take care my friend.

  13. 70wksofyrs says:

    I wish you and your family the best with your journey out of the Watchtower. Take care my friend.

    Thank you so much, this means a lot to me

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