When I was 14 I reported my rape to my bishop. Except since I was 14 I didn’t know it was rape. I wasn’t even really sure what happened. My bishop, a man who I believe was doing his best, was untrained in such matters. I repented. For my rape. My rape went unreported and nothing happened to my abuser. It took me well into my 30s to realize that what I repented for I had not consented to and was not my fault. This singular event has affected my life in countless ways.
I prayerfully march for my church, my leaders, for my 14 year old self, and for my children. Let’s stop this policy of interviewing children and adults behind closed doors without an advocate. There are better ways. Leaders are not trained to safely enter this territory.