636: Rape in Mormon Culture

IMG_2574In this episode Dr. John Dehlin and Lindsay Hansen Park (Feminist Mormon Housewives, Sunstone, Year of Polygamy, Color of Heaven) host a panel discussion about rape within Mormon culture.  The panel features Aubri Parameter, an assault survivor, Kathryn Jones-Porter, a victim’s advocate in Salt Lake County, and Donna Kelly, who has worked as a prosecutor for the last twenty-four years, devoting much of her time to working with victims of sex crimes.






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  1. This was a very well done presentation. I am now a non-member but always following what internal and external try to bring the archaic church out of the dark ages.

    I disagree with the concept of an “Honor Code” entirely in the case of a Church owned university. It comes from a line of thinking that the church authority is prepared to deal with anything…. along the continuum when it couldn’t be farther from the truth. It also falls under the Church’s need to control everything and intercepts and derails city and state jurisdiction.

    My family has all left the church and many were with it in the beginning and dedicated, one being a general authority… this coming from civil rights and criminal activities against our family members and then ignored by church authority when reported to the bishops. This has led to suicide do to victims being them blamed for the crime by their bishop/stake presidents.

    But once again, please know I very much appreciate this panel and forum. Thank you for the podcast. An illustrative, intelligent production.

  2. I am a male. I am now a non-member of the LDS church. I am a former bishop. I am a former board member and fundraiser of an organization that gives legal, medical and counseling services to victims of sexual assault — both male and female. My eyes have been opened to the seriousness and the realities of sexual assault.

    I’m very grateful to you John, for organizing this panel and for addressing this important issue. I appreciate these brave, wonderful women who were part of this panel. I appreciate the educative outcome of this podcast. Rape is a crime. Rape is an act of power and control and physical force. Rape is not a consensual thing. Rape is not about intimacy or lust or temptation. It is about power and control. Rape is a choice.

    During the Elizabeth Smart kidnapping and search, I was deeply affected by the notion of an individual, family and community being affected by the conscious decision of a depraved individual to overpower a young, vulnerable woman — taking her from her home and bed in the middle of the night. I remember the morning it hit the news. I was standing in gym locker room, staring at the TV in disbelief. This girl was the same age as my own daughter. This could have been my own family and home. I became enraged. I closed my business for 2 weeks, and allowed my office to go search for this young girl. A year later, we all wept, when the miracle of finding her alive, emerged.

    This case was public and sensational. The details were awful when they emerged. Most cases are equally awful, but are born quietly and privately by individuals and families who don’t get the attention of news cameras. These cases happen around us in daily life. The consequences last a lifetime.

    The Elizabeth Smart case caused me over the next few years to ponder deeply over the worth of a human soul. When I could see my own daughter in the position of being a rape victim — when I could put a face and name to it — it caused me to react passionately to help in our community, with the education of young people, about what true intimacy is about. About what true power is with self control and mutual respect. I feel religious groups could do more in having open discussions about equality, respect and healthy romance, and what true roles are. Today’s youth are intelligent and capable of good reasoning.

    Years ago ( 40 years ago ) having been a young bishop, I look back on how some cases of abuse among church members, were swept under the rug by some. Over the years, as I’ve heard several heart rending stories of sexual assault and how they were handled; it has saddened me. I’ve observed how some victims have been treated, and later shunned by the community. It has saddened me to see lives ruined, while the perpetrators move on without consequences or mention.

    Utah is ranked 9th in the nation in sexual assault. One in Eight women will incur sexual assault in their lifetime — 1 in 8!!! Think of it folks —- our state of Utah is 50% LDS. So at least 50% of rapes are committed by LDS members. Many of these rapes happen within LDS homes. If LDS leadership wishes to ignore this, they do it at their own peril. In only 6 cases in 100, perpetrators are prosecuted. It is appalling.

    I’m aware of an LDS family where the father of the home raped his mentally handicapped daughter who was age 16, and eventually got her pregnant. He drove her to Wyoming for an abortion. The wife and children in the home eventually knew about it. The man left the family, moved away, and never faced any legal consequences. The family continues to have scars and dysfunction because of this situation. Stories like this sicken us. They happen in homes that are non-LDS, as well.

    Rape does not normally happen with inebriation. It happens when someone overpowers another individual in a decision based on selfishness and control.

    Years ago I watched a documentary that was filmed within blocks of Temple Square. The camera followed a young man beneath a downtown building, to a dark, underground space. The space had a dirt floor, steam pipes, garbage strewn among old mattresses and sleeping bags. The young man was asked why he had turned to meth at a young age; why had he chosen to live in this filthy space for two years? He said, ” I took meth so I could stay awake, so I wouldn’t get raped at night.” He had been raped. He had been thrown to the curb, from an LDS family who felt empowered to throw him out because he was a gay kid. He had it coming, right?! He is among hundreds of gay kids ( female and male ) in our community, who are homeless. This story broke my heart. Within blocks of the LDS temple, LDS church headquarters.

    I applaud victims who come forward and courageously face the justice system, today. Lives can change. Healing can happen. Education can happen. Justice can happen.

    Thank you for this wonderfully done podcast. Hopefully it can be a help to church leaders and others in our community.

  3. Helen H Gordon

    Thank you for this helpful information. Rape and incest are terrible crimes; and when
    they are committed by people the victims trust, they are horrible beyond words.
    Special problems arise in a faith like Mormonism or Catholicism when believers
    are taught never to question authority. Covering up these kinds of crimes is
    indefensible. Leaders who do so are proving they are false prophets.

  4. Excellent! Thank you John and co.

    Finally a podcast that was to the point, a good adult discussion and positive or ‘uplifting’ as mormons would say which also helped me understand a bit more about this complex issue.

    Also I’m grateful that it wasn’t all about some bitter exmos who still hold some grudge against a few bishops or SP who simply don’t know how to handle this issue.

  5. Sleepless in Seattle

    Most important Mormon Stories podcast ever. Thank you for addressing this difficult topic. Your panel was excellent!

  6. This was an excellent presentation. However, I think that it omitted the reactions of those who would be so outraged at a family member or friend being raped that they might do bodily harm to the rapist. I am one such person. The prosecuting attorney may have had some legal insights as to dealing with that situation, as fathers of rape victims have seriously injured or killed the offenders. If a woman were to report to me that she had been raped, I certainly would not be asking if she had achieved orgasm; I would be searching out the perpetrator to do him bodily harm.

    1. Absolutely agree. I’d seek bodily harm to the offender as well. When will the cover-ups end? When the bishops/stake presidents and hierarchy are promised a hasty excommunication and release of information to the civil authorities …..hindering a police investigation/ aiding abetting by acts of omission when they cover-up the crimes without reporting these heinous crimes to the police.

  7. Michael Surkan

    Unfortunately, our culture is giving lots of mixed messages around what constitutes consent which continues to muddy the waters. In just one example I am appalled at how the TV show “The Good Wife” plays up female empowerment by having women “take charge” in sexual relations by means of the same disrespectful forms of manipulation that men are told to avoid.

    One episode from the final season stands out. In this episode a woman surprises her boyfriend by fondling his genitals under the table while they are in a public bar. The implication is that this is sexy behaviour and completely acceptable. Just think what people would think if this were reversed with the boyfriend surprising his girlfriend with his hands in her pants in a public place?

    This is just a particularly egregious example of how our popular culture is STILL sending messages around the acceptability (and “sexiness”) of one partner “taking charge”, and pretty much forcing sex on someone else. No wonder many people are confused as to what consent really is when our media keeps producing these shows that extol reprehensible acts.

  8. Well done, all! Thank you so much for tackling such an important topic with enough sensitivity to be safe to share with our TBM loved ones. Your thoughtful, gentle tone coupled with solid ideas and guidelines for teaching our children and helping those affected was most appreciated.

    I do have one tiny nit to pick with one panelist (was it Donna Kelly, toward the end?) who claimed that women were considered less than fully human, prior to the Council of Nicaea….a myth.

  9. I really enjoyed the podcast and I think there was some really good information that was provided, however, I do have to disagree with some of the comments during the podcast because they are perpetuating rape culture. A man should never have to worry about where he is walking and how close he is walking to a woman. This would be an example of going too far in the other direction. I would also have to state that if you consent to alcohol, you consent to your actions while intoxicated. If someone says YES while drunk then that is a YES, regardless of how they feel when they sober up. If this were not the case then how could we prosecute drunk rapists, drunk drivers, drunk killers. You can’t have it both ways. It is well known that alcohol affects the brain and generally no one is forced to drink it. There were a few other things that made me cringe because of how bizarre the logic was but this is what I thought was important to correct. I am so sorry for anyone who has been subject to this crime. I am grateful that there are so many people working towards helping survivors and trying to stop more people from being victimized.

    1. “I would also have to state that if you consent to alcohol, you consent to your actions while intoxicated”

      Yes, for ones own actions. Problem is that rape is about the actions of others.

      Notice that one would not be responsible for being raped if you are sedated in a hospital or at home for whatever reason and you unwittingly say YES. Similarly one would not be responsible for being raped if intoxicated or passed out from too much beer.

      Actually I think you have missed the point there and should probably re-listen to the discussion

      1. Well, if Ren missed the point, so did I and so did other people, men and women with whom, I’ve discussed this podcast. While I support the idea of getting rid of rape culture and not victim blaming I take issue with the folloing quote from the podcast,

        “If someone wakes up the next morning, and has hazy memories and says, that’s not something I would have done, I feel like I’ve been raped, I would have said no, then quite frankly, that’s how it is. If she feels like she was raped, she was raped.”

        IMO, this goes far to the other extreme where men are perpetrators and women are victims. To be clear, I don’t blame the victim who while drunk says NO or is unconscious and is raped. But when someone, man or woman, says YES, because they are intoxicated when they wouldn’t have otherwise, it is NOT rape. A poor choice? sure. And we need to own up to our choices, even our bad ones that we later regret. A drunken choice is still a choice. Drunken consent, with a HELL YEAH and a HIGH FIVE, is still consent. And let’s be honest here, we’re not just talking about apologies here as the consequence of a woman feeling like she was raped and accusing someone of rape. We’re talking about ruining someones life because you (yes I’m going to say it no matter how much you hate the term Aubri) REGRET your choices.

        1. I agree with Eric on this. I was a bit uncomfortable with this part of the discussion because it seemed to imply that someone who clearly consents to sex is actually being raped if they were drunk. I hope that is not what was actually meant by the panelist.

        2. Eric, the law does not support your argument. A person cannot agree to a crime being committed against themselves and precedent establishes that an impaired person cannot give consent. As consent is the element that makes sex a rape (and a crime), if a person wakes up in the morning and says “I would not have agreed to that” a crime has been committed. If you do not like that standard, saying it is not true will not do you any good. You will need to become a legislator or a lobbyist and work to change the law. In the meantime, keep your peter in your pocket if your intended has been drinking.

          1. But are the laws basically infantilizing women again by saying they cannot make decisions for themselves if they are drunk? Basically drunken people should never ever have sex because of the risk that one partner may feel it wasn’t consensual after the fact?

          2. It’s fine., S. Next time my ‘peter’ comes out of my pocket when I’ve been drinking and a woman has seduces me, I’ll be sure to regret it the next morning, muster up the feelings of having been violated, and accuse said woman of having raped me. As long as I do the accusing first I should be good. Because, if the law does not support my argument, surely it is at least not a respecter of the sexes and so the fact that I’m a man should be of no consequence in whether I was raped or not.

            On a serious note, we’re not talking about people agreeing to a crime being committed on themselves. We’re not talking about the cases where a person is forced to have sex against their will or while unconscious/incapacitated. We’re talking about people who’s inhibitions have been lowered to the point where they enthusiastically choose to have sex when they might not have otherwise…both people…man and woman. Consent is consent. If “consent is the element that makes sex a rape ” then let that stand on it’s own. If a woman, or man consents to sex it is not rape. There is not such thing as retroactively revoking consent. Just imagine… “Yes you may come into my home.” …the next morning, 16 hours later… “I shouldn’t have agreed to that. Therefore, you were trespassing.” or maybe, “Of course Tommy can stay over at your house tonight!” … 16 hours later…. “I wouldn’t have agreed to that if I was so distracted therefore you took my child against my will. You’re a kidnapper!” Such ridiculous examples to such a ridiculous argument.

        3. This was a great and informative podcast. Me and my husband were also a LOT confused on the parts mentioned by Ren and Eric, and I think this is an area that needs more discussion.
          Am I understanding it right, that an impaired woman can verbally say “Hell yes and Hi Five” and wake up the next morning and accuse the man she had sex with of rape? What if he was drunk as well? So if she is drunk, she is not responsible for her yes? But if he is drunk he is responsible for their seemingly consensual sex as rape? Under the exact same laws or reasoning, wouldn’t he be able to claim rape as well?

          Basically this just leads me back to scary victim blaming territory for both participants here. I am left thinking “Rape and rape accusations can be known side effects of getting drunk, so I guess you shouldn’t have gotten drunk”. I KNOW this is so offensive, but the discussion from some were making some crazy carve outs that just don’t logically work for both parties.

    2. Male. LDS. Listened to just part of the podcast. I am under the impression that the panelists believe that if a woman is in any way impaired (had any amount of alcohol or other mind-altering substance [caffeine?]), she cannot say “yes” (even if she verbally consents with a “yes”). How in the world could a man know this? Alcohol would be a bit more obvious, but there’s plenty of ways to alter your mind in a way that an observer wouldn’t know. Meaning, even if a woman is ripping off a man’s clothing and aggressively initiating sex, he still could be raping her because she’s impaired and could regret her decision in the morning.

      Maybe, the panelists are simply making the case for the LDS Church’s position on sex: only between husband and wife. “Men – yes is yes. If the woman is impaired, yes is no. Correct, you cannot know if they’re impaired. Therefore: NO. If you have sex, you are a potential rapist.”

      Again, I didn’t listen to the entire podcast. Please correct me where my understanding is incorrect.

  10. Counter Point

    This is very revealing and important. I am glad to see these things talked about. I do not want to discount it. I do, however, wish to point out a tragedy– The statistic that 95% of reported sexual assaults are reported by women should be troubling. It reveals that it is unacceptable in our culture for men to report. Growing up in my neighborhood, nearly every one of my fellow male friends had been sexually assaulted by women– girlfriends, other males, babysitters, relatives. I knew this because we males had been socialized to share our stories with our friends as a badge of experience. We were taught to normalize it.
    What hurt me about this podcast was the inference that rape is something that only happens to women. It was a repeated concept and pervasive in the panelists’ language, pronouns and inferences. Men were always inferred as the perpetrators and statistics always seem to reinforce this unfortunate idea. I fully expect that a male survivor would not be believed, not find support or comfort, and frankly not find audience. For that reason, men remain silent. This panel MINIMIZED and INVALIDATED that experience. Shame on you!

  11. I am a male and former member of the church. I’ve served in a Bishopric, was a Young Men’s President, Gospel Doctrine teacher, Elders Quorum Pres. Etc…. I have also seen my daughter deal with rape at knifepoint and my granddaughter deal with being molested as a child. I also volunteer as a facilitator for intense transnational training and have seen and counseled with hundreds of victims as well as offenders.

    I also sit on the board of a child sex slave rescue organization and have been on undercover rescue missions in different parts of the world to rescue child sex slaves and bring justice to the predators. I was captivated by this podcast and the insight from your panel. Thank you for this amazing podcast.

    However, I am uneasy with a couple things I heard on this podcast.

    1. One of the well- meaning guest listed what you should say to someone who discloses. The first thing she said to say is “I believe you” and the discussion developed in the importance of starting out by “saying” you believe. What if you don’t believe them? Are you suggesting that people lie? I have seen many false accusations. And, while percentages may be small, my experience is that it is much more than the 5% as stated by a panel member. Telling people to “SAY” and even practice saying “I believe you” reminds me of fast and testimony meeting where Mormons teach people to “Doubt their Doubts”, bare testimony of things … If you say it enough you will believe it we taught people as missionaries. Lets not do the same thing here. I believe that we ought to acknowledge the person’s courage to disclose. And, show love and compassion and then pursue the claims. The focus should be on following the facts. Then treating both the victim and the offender and lets start understanding why. Please lets not teach people to be inauthentic if you actually have doubts. While usually not true, the real victim just might be the accused. Lets pursue the truth and start the healing for both parties.
    2. There is such a wide spectrum of the meaning “consent” that I was also troubled by discussion that, if someone said no 4 times but on the fifth time they said yes that would be coercion. It might be. But it might not. Yes we should do more to teach young men to never do anything without consent. But we ought to teach women to walk away after the first couple of NO’s. The line can be very blurry and I agree with getting a “hell yes” and a high five but I have seen a young man go to jail after his girlfriend e-mailed him and said she had a birthday present … a condom and shrooms. Then after her father found out she had sex… she claimed rape and now the young man is waiting in jail (over a year) for trial. There are way more than 5 percent of the cases that are false from my experience. And many of the cases are very blurry. There seems to be a much higher false disclosure when the girl is religious and has been taught that sex before marriage is a sin next to murder. Mentally blaming it on the boy and “Playing” victim is more common than presented by your panel.

    Having said all that, I am thankful for the open discussion and the more we can talk about this issue the fewer rapes we will have. Studies show that there is more reported rapes in religious communities. You panel did a great job. Thanks.

  12. The panel represented a rather narrow perspective. Consequently, I felt like some unhealthy stereotypes and Judeo-Christian sexuality paradigms were reinforced quite vigorously. The panel tended toward an anxiety-ridden orientation to human intimacy that actually aggravates poor human relations and sexual health. Perhaps more beneficial would be for John to host a broader panel that seeks to understand sexual aggression, perceptions of intimacy, etc. from a less fundamentalist, trauma-centric perspective. It would be nice to examine the root of culture rather than treating symptoms to bring about change. I feel like the panel attempted to go there a couple times, but couldn’t escape the reinforcing loop of trauma and reaction.

    I think if we are looking to shift a culture, it would be helpful to look beyond our “cave” at broad-scale (maybe global) sexual culture and its narrative in America and Utah. There are numerous concepts to approach here, including intimacy v. sexuality, morality v. health, human contact v. assault, male and female sex expectations, etc. All of these are mitigated by societal perceptions and definitions.

    The perspective of a sex therapist, sex offender treatment specialist, a male survivor, and an accused/acquitted sex offender would be great additions to a panel on the subject.

    All in all, I was not comfortable with what I perceived as a tacit and almost phobic suggestions such as avoiding physical proximity and engaging in prescriptive stages of intimacy, each gated by legalistic keys. This is not the kind of culture I want to participate in. Its not okay and its not healthy. I have observed that this is the kind of culture where affection is suspect, nudity is equated with porn, hugging is synonymous with seduction, a wink of the eye is perverse, and an arm around the shoulder is a slippery slope to the abominable . This is the type of anxiety that is bread in LDS culture as well as many other fundamentalist orthodoxies. Your guest panel seems to be heavily influenced by that orientation and was reinforcing caustic ideas. I understand that some of them may have experienced serious trauma, which naturally lends to an anxious approach, but I do not feel that should be the catalyst for shaping a healthy culture.

  13. Great discussion. I learned a lot. I have a question that I would like to get some clarification on though from the panelists if they are reading questions:

    if we always believe the victim, what do we do about viewing the suspect as innocent until proven guilty? It seems like it might not be possible to fully do both at the same time. What if we take the stance of believing that the victim is telling the truth according to how they see it, while recognizing that it is possible for them to be mistaken about some of the experience and that conclusions should be made only after evidence is gathered? Is that believing or should we believe more than that? I have a mother who as a child was a victim and wasn’t believed. I know how big of a problem that is and I know how problematic it is for a victim to be doubted and to feel like they are the one on trial. On the other hand, the concept of innocent until proven guilty isn’t something I would ever want to throw out the window completely. how do you suggest we best balance those two competing, yet important, concepts?

    1. When the panelists suggested we believe the victims they assumed we were not on juries but rather we were the support system. Supportive listening does not mean swallowing the unbelievable. It means listen, hear do not pass judgment.

  14. Excellent episode and very helpful. I would like to share my perspective as a mother of a young male who was a victim of multiple types abuse by his girlfriend. He is a feminist and a very empathetic person, which is wonderful, but it is also the reason he wound up in a relationship in which he was being manipulated, gaslighted, and verbally abused. As parents we had to watch this happen and try to figure out how to help our son recognize the abuse for what it was and get out of the relationship. His friends saw all of this as well.

    Once he did figure it out and broke up with her, her abuse against him became physical. She punched my son at school and was suspended. She keyed his car. My son took out an order of protection against her and the school took her out of some classes in order to protect him from her and give them distance.

    And then came the terrifying part — the part that, I think the panel said only happens in 5% of cases — she retaliated by getting an order of protection against my son and falsely cited sexual assault in order to get it. Yes, it does happens. It might be rare, but it does. And as someone who believes victims should be believed and supported, it was a horrifying thought to know my son, who was the victim, could be automatically prejudiced against. We did not know what his future would be.

    He bravely contested her order in court with a folder of evidence of the nature of their relationship. She said in court that she had reported him to police, that it was currently under investigation. Another hearing was scheduled and we hired Matt Long as my son’s attorney, returning to court for a second day. She failed to show up. It turned out that she was lying to the judge about there being an investigation pending against my son — there was no police record of her ever going to them and she had given the judge a fake police report number. He won and her order against him was quashed. We think it’s over– we hope it is over.

    While the numbers of false reporting may be low, those false reports are real. The victims of those false reports are real victims. They are just as much victims of abuse as every other victim.

  15. I listened to this podcast within a day of returning home from a rape trail in SLC. I am very pleased to say that the bastard was found guilty on both counts. His sentencing is in July. We can only hope the length of his sentence will remove him as a danger to society.

  16. Great program.

    I would have liked you to fully answer the question about marital consent. It’s clear that an “I do” at the alter is not license to sexual acts forevermore, but are you saying that every touch, kiss, grab, and act of sexual congress should come with a “may I?”, a “hell, yes,” and a high five? This seemed to be John’s question too, but there was no answer except to say one should be loving and give pleasure to one’s partner. This is very vague.

    It was also startling to see the exercise where one of the panelists asked Lindsay for a pen. Lindsay freely preferred the pen, and the answer was there was novo sent in that interaction. How strange! If someone asks another adult for something, and the object is given, I see no coercion. Please help me out here.

    1. Should be: “Lindsay freely proffered the pen” and “the answer was that interaction was coercive.”

      I would sincerely like to know how and why that situation could be analogous to assault. Could someone please explain it?

    2. Wondering Wanderer

      Call me crazy, but my windows steamed up a bit just thinking about talking one another through every step of love-making . . . how seductive, what a turn-on!!! How much better the relationship and the sex would be by talking about it! I think we can assume this would not be necessary every time and forever. But what fun it would be to hear a “hell yes!” now and then. I did not think her answer vague; it was the bottom line. If a relationship is based on love, and trust, and wanting to please the other, it will be no problem for a couple to figure out their own program. There will be no coercion, and saying “no” once will suffice. There will still be some respectful boundaries, some room for personal space.

      As for the pen trick, I think she was trying to demonstrate the difference between asking and insisting, between taking “no” for an answer and not taking “no” for an answer. I think her point was that badgering can be intimidating and can be effective in getting someone to do something they don’t really want to do, especially if they see no way of escape. A young woman may fear that the situation will escalate to anger and violence if she doesn’t give up and give in. That is how the “bad cops” can get a confession even out of an innocent person. The suspects tell the cops what they want to hear just to get them to leave them alone.

    3. To clarify:

      1. The concept of marital rape could have been better explained, because it’s unlikely that every marital sexual encounter or act is done only after a “hell yes” and a high five.

      2. A panelist asked Lindsay for a pen. Lindsay gave the panelist a pen of her own free will. The panelist said that was not a consensual act. Could someone explain why not?

  17. The Mormon Church pretends to have all the answers to every situation that is presented before them. Thus the culture in the Church has created this mentality of “you need to go see the bishop” for every situation even though he is not qualified nor has any credentials to perform any type of counseling to victims. Coming from a dysfunctional family with step-parent made for some interesting situations that our bishopric could not, nor should not have handled by themselves. Fortunately, none of it was sexual abuse, more mental if anything, by which their only remedy was to keep talking to them and to read the scriptures. We seemed to eventually heal just nicely without them.

    The other problem I see in LDS culture concerning sexual abuse is how the parents or relatives of the predators say the damnedest things. Two cases come to mind that happened here in Arizona. First, a LDS teen is raped and has to move to Utah. The rapist is a nephew or cousin of a prominent LDS politician. This politician says his rapist relative was given an overly harsh sentence. Second, a former high-ranking Arizona elected official (I think he was Secretary of State) has a son who was a camp counselor. The son was accused of putting a broom stick in the anuses of teenage boys. Dad’s concern was not for the boys, but that if his son is accused of a felony, then he would not be able to serve a mission. Until the leadership changes the culture nothing will change.

  18. Hi Jon, really interesting panel, l do hope that people will be helped with rape resources. l really suggest and hope that you will soon have a podcast for helping member’s non member’s of the church who have been gone through an adoption in their early lives and the devastation that this can cause in the later years of peoples lives, lt can be so hard to move on in your life especially when a birth mum or dad has not been given proper counselling and compassion given toward the birth parent and the turmoil they goes through, it can reck you life and is such an important issue especially for birth mums who had their children place for adoption year’s ago, please consider this issue, thank you.

  19. Thank you for taking the time for this much needed podcast and bringing more awareness to such a common but often darkly hidden occurrence of rape. I don’t doubt the statistics mentioned in this podcast for one minute. I was date raped at 18 years of age in the 1980’s. After telling my perpetrator NO three times, he said, “You are not going to stop me!” and forced me down. I had seconds to process my options and possible outcomes which clearly wasn’t enough time. How did I end up late that night, a 45 minute drive from my home, in a trailer park, surrounded by farm land in the Midwest, not knowing which way was N or S or how to get to the nearest city, and without a vehicle? I trusted this individual who I came to know SLOWLY over many months, as he was a contractor for the company I worked for at the time. I didn’t feel I had anyone to tell (which is another story), and I was extremely embarrassed that this had happened to me. So I did what millions of others have done over time….cleaned myself up, cried, buried it deep down inside, and moved forward as best as possible. I finally had someone to tell many years later…my husband. And 25 plus years later I told my two teenage daughters. I wanted them to know and have the confidence, that no matter what the circumstances, if this unfortunate crime should ever happen to them, it is not their fault, and they have someone to come to! Unfortunately, some people don’t understand that rape doesn’t fit into a one size fits all category. There are many different types and circumstances which this podcast brought light too. Some victims don’t have the option of saying no to begin with, some aren’t able to walk away after saying no, and some aren’t in the right state of mind to say no.

    Thank you again, for adding to the much needed conversation and awareness of rape!

  20. Very good and eye opening, a good panellist, l do hope that all people involved with any kind of sexual assult will be brought to light and those who are victims that they will be supported, the survivors that they will be helped in every possible way. thanks jon, we need more good interviews like these, also a panellist on birth parents and the problems that come from making sure that birth children are placed for adoption within the Mormon church, l would like to hear about this and the great trouble that comes with the lack of compassion and understanding of talking and counselling people on the after math of giving up a child for adoption and the great pain and heartache that comes from that, thanks Jon

  21. Great panel of interviewers Jon, l hope these important issues will be brought to light and the perpatraters will be brought to justice and the courageous survivors will be given justice and helped through their difficulties and receive some peace of mind. Thanks Jon. Keep these panellists coming,

  22. So long as a woman “feels” she has been raped, it’s okay to ruin a man’s life and throw him in prison for decades… wow.

    1. Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a cell phone that recorded your hell yes and a high five before doing the deed? Conversely, wouldn’t be awesome to have a cell phone that recorded your abstention from doing the deed? I told a guy no 5 times that I didn’t want to have sex with him and guess what? I found him on top of me having sex with me. He told the police that I looked like I wanted it. Guess who won? NOT ME. (BTW: He was a nice married Mormon man)

  23. Rachael Elliott

    Is there a way to get a transcript of this podcast? I have a friend who is mormon and he’s apprehensive to spend the time listening to the whole thing and he’d like to skim over it.

  24. PLEASE! Whoever is on here needing some understanding regarding our violent culture towards women, I want to urge you to watch on Netflix, the the documentary: “The Mask You Live In”. It is a heart rending documentary about the culture that young men are coming up in with violence and objectification of women and humanity in general. It is eye opening, but also deeply touching. It does not condone violence in our culture. It does not condone mistreatment of women. Some of the most prescient and illuminating statements on this documentary are made by women. It is a piece that will make you think twice.

  25. When I was at BYU and disclosed a rape to my bishop, he managed to make me think, over months of weekly counseling sessions, the rape was just two young horny people going too far. He pushed and pushed for us to marry, as I was now tainted and no longer a virgin and had not kept that most precious virtue for my future husband. No one else would want me. I married my rapist nine months later. 15 years later we divorced. It wasn’t until I had therapy and began to unpack years of experiences and feelings that I understood rape happens in marriage and its not sinful, or disrepectful to name it. All the bishop’s counseling and “fixing” of the problem by ensuring we married set me up for years of sexual abuse—that I didn’t even have the language to name. When we divorced, after discovery of his involvement with many extra marital encounters, some of which were non consensual as the victims/survivors reached out during and after the divorce, and discovery of his involvement with underage porn, I moved across the country. People I hadn’t had close ties to for years started telling me what they knew and knew from the beginning. My ex husband was already under disciplinary action when i reported to the bishop, for the same thing I was reporting him for. One of the former bishop’s counselors—who was and a 23 year old student at the time—let me know just how the bishop felt he could solve my ex husband’s serial problem of women reporting him for rape. It was to get him to marry. Then he could “have all the sex he wants, whenever he feels like it and not be sinning.” Let that sink in. Clearly the bishop and his counselors didn’t know about marital rape either. It made the counselor a little uncomfortable but the bishop’s logic seemed sound and so he actively, with the bishop’s instruction, worked to convince me not the dump him after the rape and to start working toward marriage. I was a lamb to the slaughter, a sexually naive college freshman who was raped at age 17, married at 18, and raped for 15 years because Mormon culture did not prepare me to see what was in front of my eyes and prepared the men i reached out to and trusted most to consider first, not my well being, but the well being of a man 6 years my senior, who had been reported in multiple wards and stakes since he was 15 for sexual assault. Mormon culture gave my ex husband permission over and over again to do with women as he wished without consequence. He was reported for rape and sent ona mission to fix the problem. He was reported for rape and found a wife to rape. In the height of processing my trauma, my new bishop said to me, “I know how to fix this, you just need to see what a real relationship is like and that sex in a marriage is meant to be beautiful. Give me two months and I’ll have you remarried.” As I reached out to survivors, mine was not an isolated experience in the Mormon church. This topic is one that should be discussed. Leaders require training. Ultimately,
    I believe he Mormon Church does not give sufficient training because they believe leadership is directly inspired by god to say and do the right thing. I know longer believe that, as evidenced by my experiences. My bishops were not inspired. Neither were the bishops of the survivors placed and spiritually coerced into the same situation i was. It was rape. It was spiritual abuse to “counsel” me weekly until I submitted to married my rapist.

  26. I appreciate the podcast, as it made me aware that not all men thought like me, as I believed that if a woman is raped, the man is totally at fault. My inclination would have been to have the man arrested and imprisoned, or to have looked in another direction as he is tarred and feathered. Blaming the victim and calling her to “repentance” would be totally repugnant to me.

    I am in the same ward with Aubri, one of the panelists. As a member of the Sunday School presidency, I recommended having her be the Gospel Doctrine teacher. However she was called as the teacher for the 12-13 year olds, which is an even better fit. She is a gifted teacher in that capacity.

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