I had a boyfriend in high school and we were both very active LDS. We’d been dating for about 6 months when he told me he would kill himself in I didn’t have sex with him. I did because I knew him and I knew he would follow through with his threat. I did not want to be blamed for his death. This happened a handful of times. Each time he would tell me he would hurt himself, me, or my family and it would be my fault for not sleeping with him.
Once his mom caught us in the act and sent us to his bishop. I felt guilty, although I now know I should not have felt guilty because it was not consensual, it was coerced. But I talked to his bishop anyway. I then was sent to my bishop but I refused to go because my bishop was my dad. Instead I went to my stake president.
Both his bishop and my stake president asked me to describe each time it happened in detail and asked specific questions when they felt I wasn’t specific enough. I was so uncomfortable and was shaking the entire time I was describing what happened to each man, in detail, separately. I was very clear of his threats and how I did not want to have sex but I was still made out to be the bad guy.
Nothing happened to him, not even a reprimand. He was told I temped him and there was nothing he could do to stop me. However, I was told I needed to write letters of apology to him & his family because it was me who tempted him with my body. I also was placed on a kind of probation period and could not participate in some church activities and ceremonies.
His stake president was my uncle. His bishop told me he needed to make my uncle aware of this because “someone needed to watch me to be sure I didn’t temp anyone else or this same boy.” My uncle never said a word to me but still (20 years later) looks at me with knowing and accusing eyes. Our relationship has never recovered. My stake president never told my dad. I’m sure my dad would have seen the situation for what it was and helped me but my stake president made me promise to never tell him. I still have not told him. I should have.
I WAS THE VICTIM BUT I WAS MADE TO LOOK LIKE AND FEEL LIKE THE PERPETRATOR! And the repeated sexual assaults were covered up by leaders in the LDS church and my assaulter got away with it. It has taken me years to make sense of this and to realize it was not my fault. I did nothing wrong. And these men should have stepped up and helped me instead of hurting me worse. My sex life with my husband has suffered greatly because if he touches me in certain places and ways I snap and my mind goes back to 20 years ago when I was victimized.
We live in a small town and these men, including my attacker and his family still haunt my daily life. And continue to be local leadership of the LDS church. Every one of them still, to this day, continue to victimize me. They each look at me with disgust and hatred when they see me.