The track record Jehovah’s Witnesses have when it comes to rape is appalling, to say the least. They have said that a woman is required to scream and resist during such an attack or she “would be viewed as consenting to the violation” (see this post), and elders are allowed to “discern” if a woman has actually been raped based on her “mental disposition” and any “delay” in reporting the incident (see this post).
Jehovah’s Witnesses have also blamed women for being raped, as is illustrated by the following excerpt from the “Keep Yourselves in God’s Love” book, published in 2008 and 2014. The story is about a woman named Dinah who lived in ancient Israel, and who was raped by a man named Shechem, who was the brother of some women she would visit in the nearby land of Canaan. Note what is said about the incident:
The “events that brought disgrace and reproach on her whole family” refer to the fact that after she was raped, her brothers declared war on Shechem’s family. For some reason, this is seen as being a problem.
Rape and War, Always the Woman’s Fault
If you think that it’s an exaggeration to say that Jehovah’s Witnesses claim that Dinah’s “choice of associates” were at fault for her being raped, note the question at the bottom for paragraph 14. It doesn’t say, “How did Shechem’s lack of self-control and violent tendencies lead to an innocent girl being brutalized?” Note, too, that it doesn’t say, “How did Dinah’s brothers rightly punish the man who would rape their sister and perhaps other women as well?”
The question and the paragraph are obviously framed to show that Dinah’s rape was her own fault and that the “tragedy” that followed was also her fault. Interestingly, this is despite the fact that Dinah’s friends were not the ones who raped her! Shechem was the brother of one of the women she visited; not only does this information fail to put the fault of his horrific actions at his feet, but it also implies that Dinah’s friends were so awful and evil that they were somehow to blame as well! I’m sorry but if I have a friend come over to the house and my brother sees her and later rapes her, I would beat my brother senseless and would be outraged at anyone who would think his actions were somehow my fault.
“Yes, but if she had stayed in Israel where she belonged…”
I’m sure some Jehovah’s Witnesses might say that I’m missing the point, that Dinah put herself in danger of being raped by going out into these terrible surrounding countries that were godless and full of violence. To which I might respond, Are you saying that rape was never heard of in Israel? If so, why did Deuteronomy give instructions for how it would be dealt with, namely, if the woman didn’t scream she was stoned to death along with the man, but if she was a virgin, he paid a bride price to her father and got to keep her as another one of his wives? Obviously the Israelites were not all pure and holy and righteous, and her own country was no safer for her.
Interesting, too, that Deuteronomy also gave instructions on how an Israelite man could take a wife from the war captives they had after conquering nearby lands. They may have called it a marriage, but obviously this woman didn’t consent, as her “marriage” was the result of her entire family being slaughtered and then her being dragged away with the cattle and gold and other spoils. In other words, it’s wrong of Dinah to go and make friends with women in other lands because they’re so evil and immoral, and you’ll probably get raped for that bad decision, but it is okay for an Israelite man to go and take those same women as his war brides and rape them on their “wedding” night. Nice.
Rape As Immorality
Yet again this information shows how Jehovah’s Witnesses equate rape with fornication or a sin, as this segment is found in the chapter titled “Flee From Sexual Immorality.” Putting this information about Dinah and her friends in this chapter shows that Jehovah’s Witnesses obviously believe she had a choice when it came to being brutally raped and violated. By simply having female friends who were of a different nationality, she didn’t properly avoid or flee from “immorality.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses fail to see rape as a crime and a violation against others, but see it as a form of immorality, with the victim apparently having as much responsibility to stop it as the perpetrator, if not even more so. This responsibility of the victim’s starts the minute they leave their house, as apparently even being at the home of a friend who happens to have a brother is not enough “fleeing” from this form of “immorality.”
Stay In the Religion or You’ll Be Raped
Not only does this information show a disturbing thought pattern when it comes to how Jehovah’s Witnesses outright blame women for their own rape, but it also shows their manipulation at keeping people within the confines of their religion. Their clear message is that if you step outside the boundaries they choose for you, you’ll meet people who do what is “natural” for them, including rape, and if that happens to you then you will have brought disgrace on yourself and your entire family.
If this information and manipulation toward adults was not bad enough, the story of Dinah is included in “My Book of Bible Stories,” a publication of Jehovah’s Witnesses meant for young children. Here is the story in its entirety:
Notice immediately the title, “Dinah Gets Into Trouble,” not “Dinah is Brutalized and Victimized By a Disgusting Twat With No Self-Control.” Note, too, how it says that the problem with her being raped was that “only married men and women are supposed to lie down together,” not that she was brutalized in such a horrific fashion. The real crime here was that two unmarried people had sex, not that one was viciously and brutally raped. The last paragraph even puts the entire problem of rape and war at Dinah’s feet, and you note how they point out that making friends with anyone outside the confines of their religion will bring you trouble. Using these manipulative words on a child is nothing short of abhorrent.
Before any Jehovah’s Witnesses object by saying that if it’s in the bible it should be fine for children, note that the “Bible Stories” book doesn’t include the story of how Lot’s daughters got their father drunk and had sex with him, or the instructions for how a rape victim in Israel was then the property of her rapist, as mentioned above. No stories that start out with, “See this bald woman here? Do you know who she is? She’s a woman from a neighboring country whose entire family was stabbed to death by big swords, just like that man is carrying. He thought she was pretty so he didn’t kill her but told her to shave her head and cry for her family for thirty days, so that then he could lie down with her and make her pregnant with his baby.”
Of course, even if they did include a story like that, I’m sure it would have some type of slant that would make being a war bride, legalized rape victim, and piece of property the woman’s fault too.
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