I was raped when I was 17 by the Stake President’s 22 year old RM son. I was terrified to say anything to anyone because I was afraid I would be punished. When I finally told my parents, they helped me report it to the police, the police told me they didn’t believe me and that I was probably just a Mormon girl who had sex and now regrets it. They said they would have to go over to the guys house and talk to him but not to expect anything to come from it. I was suicidal, and extremely depressed and decided I would go see my bishop and see if he could give me any council to make me feel better. I knew it wasn’t my fault and I needed an adult to tell me the same.
When I stepped into his office he told me that the stake president had already called and informed him of the situation and had given him instructions on how my punishment should go. The bishop told me that although what the guy did to me was wrong, it was ultimately my fault and I needed to go through the repentance process. I was released from my laurel presidency calling, I was told I could not pray in public and that I couldn’t take sacrament, and that EVERYTHING that was said in these meetings were between me, the bishop and God. I was told explicitly that I should not tell my parents anything. I was also told to read the Miracle of Forgiveness and report to the bishop each Sunday. In those meetings each and every single week, I was asked what positions I was in when he raped me. I was asked what he inserted and where. I was asked if I felt pleasure. I was asked if I climaxed, if he climaxed, if I wanted it to happen. I was asked how scared I was. I was asked how angry he was. I was asked what kind of clothing I was wearing. I was asked what was taken off, in what order. I was asked if there was oral, or anal. I was asked so many questions.
I had to go see the bishop for 1 whole year. For 52 Sunday’s I sat in my bishops office while he asked me these questions. For 52 Sunday’s I was forbidden to tell my parents anything. For 52 weeks I had to endure stares and gossip about why I couldn’t pray or take the sacrament, both at church and at seminary. For 52 Sundays I had to also listen while being told how my rapist was doing. The bishop said it was to help me see that reporting a rape could mess up someones life. I was told a month into the forgiveness process that he was admitted into BYU. At 3 months, I was told that he was engaged. At 6 months I was told he was married. at 11 months I was told he was going to have a child.
The last Sunday I spent with the bishop he told me he didn’t think this process was working for me. He told me that he didn’t feel like I was being humble or sincere in asking for forgiveness. He told me I needed to go to the church’s Addiction and Recovery program to be fully forgiven. I finally broke, I told him no and that I wouldn’t be coming in again. He told me that I would never be forgiven if I left. He told me that I would be going to outer darkness. I left anyway because I couldn’t sit and listen to it anymore.
I spent 52 weeks being suicidal and depressed. It took 5 years of self loathing and hatred for myself to finally start to heal. It took a year of therapy telling me it wasn’t my fault and that the bishop was in the wrong. It took me 9 years before I could tell my parents what happened. It has been 11 years since I was raped, 11 years since I was put through the torture of meeting with my bishop. 11 years of learning to be okay. It has been 11 years, I will always remember what happened to me, every excruciatingly painful detail of my rape. But it will always be remembered with how disgusting the bishop had been in his treatment of me. They are intertwined. I signed this petition to get the word out. That interviews where an adult and child are alone are not okay in any circumstance. These interviews need to end. Now.