When I was 3 years old and finishing my last year in nursery before going to Sunbeams I can vividly remember a Sunday at church the has affected my life forever. The nursery leaders didn’t make sure we had a parent come get us before letting us leave the classroom. That day I took off running thru the church and followed all of the other big kids into the church cultural hall to run around. As we were running back stage a 14 year old boy in our congregation grabbed me and took me into a classroom on the stage- he shut the door, layed me on a table, and then sexually molested me. As I recall this incident in my life and remember how this boy behaved, I have realized I wasn’t his first and probably wasn’t his last victim. He was too calculated and robotic about with how he treated me.
After it was over he let me leave and I began having nightmares at home and trying to tell my parents what this boy had done. The next Sunday at church as he walked past my parents and me, I pointed at him and told my parents what he did. They immediately went to bishop and told him they wanted this boy arrested. The bishop consulted with the boy, who had apparently admitted what he did and that he wanted to repent. The bishop convinced my parents that for the “greater” good they should not press charges and allow the boy to me counseled by this uneducated bishop who thought he knew what was best. My parents then went to the stake president who said the same thing.
The worst day of my life was actually when this boy came over to my house with his parents and apologized to my parents and me for what he did. This predator was allowed in my safe space? The recurring nightmares continued for years of me looking out our front window and watching this boy come toward my house as I feared what he would do to me.
This event in my life has always shadowed my feelings about the LDS Church. Why did they hush up my parents? Why did I not receive justice for what happened to me?
What the bishop and stake president did was wrong and years later it cause problems between me and my parents as I resented them for not doing more. I am 36 years old. I have had years of therapy, trouble in my relationship intimate with my husband, by feeling shame about sex and viewing it as something disgusting that happens to you.
I cannot be the only one this happened too and the Church should have been held responsible. But in fear of my membership and the shame it would bring I have never told my story.
Your bravery is amazing and I admire your courage. I wish I had the strength to stand and do what you’re doing! There are more than 700 voices, but not every voice is as brave or strong as yours. Thanks for giving me the courage to share my story with you.