The footballer’s wife claims she began experiencing sexual assault when she was 12 years old, and claims that rather than receiving support, she was “blamed and coerced into thinking it wasn’t the best thing to report it to the police.” For the first time, Rebekah Vardy has discussed her upbringing as a Jehovah’s Witness. She claims in a Channel 4 programme that the faith let her down when she was a young victim of sexual abuse.
Jamie Vardy’s wife, a media personality, was reared in Norwich as a Jehovah’s Witness but left at the age of 15. The 41-year-old also expresses her rage at her family’s exclusion as a result of her parents’ divorce. Vardy said in the documentary that she was sexually assaulted by a member of the group while she was a young adolescent and that the elders, senior male religious leaders, covered it up. Jehovah’s Witnesses responded to the charges made in the documentary by saying it is “false and offensive” to suggest that they obstruct the law. I was raised in a tight and authoritarian religious organization, Vardy claimed.
“What happened to me when I was a child still has an impact on me today.” Since I was about 12 years old, I have experienced abuse. Rather than receiving assistance, I have received blame and have been persuaded that reporting the abuse to the police wouldn’t be the best course of action. “I informed my mother about the abuse I was receiving. She sobbed but didn’t think I was real. I notified several family members and members of the Jehovah’s Witness group about the abuse, and they convened a meeting when I was around 15 years old. It was claimed that I had taken the abuse for an act of affection. “I was basically duped into thinking it wasn’t the best course of action to take it any further and go to the police. I knew that I hadn’t, I was fully aware of what was right and what was wrong, and it was emphasized that I may bring shame on my family. I struggle to understand how I made it through that.
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