When I was young, I was abused by a stepfather. Later, as an adult, I came forward with my story and he was disfellowshipped for one year. During that process I learned that my stepfather had confessed to our bishop, a man who later went on to become the stake president, around the time that I was in middle school. That bishop apparently went on to absolve him of guilt, all without ever speaking to me or my mother. The abuse did not stop, and in fact, was worse after that time frame. I often think how different my life could have been if that man had done something to help me.
When I was 18 I went in to talk to my BYU Bishop about the abuse that I had suffered. The shame and guilt that I felt was very strong and my boyfriend at the time suggested that I talk to my bishop about how I was feeling.
After shakily recounting my story for virtually the first time in my life, he said 30 seconds of platitudes and then asked who the young man in the foyer was. Then he proceeded to press me into confessing to sexual sin. I was a little taken aback after letting myself be so vulnerable and sharing my most well kept secret. I said no, there was nothing I needed to confess, but he wouldn’t let it drop. He reminded me that I would pretty much go to hell for un-confessed sexual sins and went into some detail about what exactly constituted sinning, which was very uncomfortable for me to endure as I was already pretty afraid of adult males. He just wouldn’t take no for an answer and kept saying “are you sure?” When I replied no. I was so angry and depressed afterward—I had looked to him for help in desperation and gotten a dose of shame in return. And also, it was just creepy. I mean, maybe you should wait for someone to actually come in for a confession before you start asking for the dirty details.