Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses break silence on shunning: ‘My mother treats me like I’m dead’

Source: USA Today

By , Detroit Free Press

Amber Sawyer was just 8 years old when it happened.

She was watching cartoons on the living room floor of her Mississippi home when she heard the bang.

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She went to investigate and found her 21-year-old sister, Donna, dead in her bed. She had shot herself in the heart with their father’s hunting rifle weeks after their church excommunicated her for getting engaged to a man who was not a Jehovah’s Witness.

For Sawyer — who sat on the bedroom floor near her sister’s body for hours that day, waiting for her mother to come home from her door-to-door missionary work — it was the beginning of a long, painful journey that would one day tear her family apart.

Years later, Sawyer got excommunicated, too, after seeking a divorce from an abusive husband. She ended up leaving the husband — and the faith.

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