Rebekah Vardy has discussed growing up as a Jehovah’s Witness and the alleged sexual abuse she suffered as a child.
In a new Channel 4 documentary, called Rebekah Vardy: Jehovah’s Witnesses And Me, the 41-year-old media personality alleges she was sexually abused by an individual who was not a Jehovah’s Witness between the ages of 11 to 15.
She claims the alleged abuse was covered up by senior male religious leaders, known as “elders”.Vardy, who is married to footballer Jamie Vardy, told ITV’s Good Morning Britain on Tuesday that she was “scared of the consequences” of speaking about the alleged sexual abuse at the time due to “the fear of bringing shame onto the family”.
In the documentary, she claims that she told her mother, her family and the Jehovah’s Witness community about the alleged abuse when she was still a teenager and a meeting was then called.
However, she felt “blamed” by the religious community for the alleged abuse and alleges she was manipulated into not reporting it to the police.
She hopes that her story will show other people that there is a “light at the end of the tunnel”.
Vardy told Good Morning Britain: “I think I realised that I’ve probably only just scratched the surface. I think my story isn’t unique and there’s going to be plenty of others.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses is a Christian denomination with about 8.5 million followers worldwide. They believe that the destruction of the world is imminent.
It imposes a strict moral code on members, including that homosexuality is a sin, and punishes those who deviate from the denomination’s beliefs by “disfellowshipping” them or ostracising them from the community, which Vardy says happened to her family after her parents divorced. (RTE)