I was 14 when I was raped by a young man in my ward. I kept it to myself, shamed and fearful of telling anyone, because this young man was the son of my parents good friends.
Two weeks after that event, I returned home from family vacation with a message on the answering machine from the ward clerk saying the bishop would like to meet with me and to call to set an appointment. When it came time for that appointment, I went in determined to keep secret what had happened, because the one person (my best friend) that I had told said I must have flirted inappropriately or been wearing something revealing that made him believe I wanted that.
Immediately upon closing the door the bishop said “Is there anything you want to tell me?” I responded that there wasn’t. Then he told me this young man came to him and confessed we had had consensual sex a few weeks before. He said he regretted it and wanted to repent. I was shocked. I went from being determined to keep silent to wanting the truth be known instead of the young man’s story. So I told the bishop what had occurred. He asked so many questions and when I answered them to the best of my memory, he called me a liar. He told me God knew the truth and I was making it harder for myself. I remained with the truth of the story. This young man had come to my home after I missed seminary, I was home alone sick. Both of my parents worked full time 90 minutes from our home. He knew this. He came over and knocked on the door. I opened and he pushed his way in and took me right on the entry hall floor.
The bishop asked to see me weekly after that. I was dutiful, but each week he would ask again what happened and I never changed my story. I was put on bishop’s probation for 6 months. The young man was blessing the sacrament 6 weeks later. I was punished for “sinning gravely” then “lying” about it. After 6 months of punishment, shame, having to tell my parents the version my bishop told me to tell to them, I couldn’t handle it anymore and sought to end my life. After searching best ways to do so, I decided against it. Instead, I chose to tell the bishop I had been lying, I was scared of being punished, and that it happened just the way the young man said it had. I showed remorse and guilt. I prayed with the bishop to God for forgiveness and it was granted.
I carried that with me into my marriage, with the spouse I chose, agreeing to marry me even though I was “used”, because he too had so much guilt for masturbating through his teenage years that he believed no one worthy would want him, so he settled for me. We had our 18th wedding anniversary while separated. Our marriage couldn’t be sustained. I believe this occurrence played a part in that. I am grateful today, I recognize that I was a victim and I did nothing wrong. I found a counselor to talk to when I was 27. I sought help for a problem I hadn’t resolved from 13 years before. For that I am thankful.