First my dad, then a stranger

My dad digitally raped me when I was 6 years old. My little brother was in the room with me at the time. He doesn’t remember it, but he’s talked about how he feels he “saw something he shouldn’t have” at a young age.

Oddly, there were no other incidences until I was 8 or 9, and then there were 3 more occurrences of molestation. I never told anyone.

Again, this is out of the ordinary, but my dad told. I don’t know if he confessed to a bishop, told just my mom, or what. I just know that I was taken to an office to talk to someone about the molestation (not being raped) in front of a video camera for a court hearing.

I was made to write a letter (I think to a judge?) about how I still loved my dad and how everything was fine. I was in 6th grade and I did what I was told.

I have 3 older sisters and I often wonder if anything happened to them. I’m too scared to ask. They don’t know what happened to me. Did my dad abuse them? Or other girls in the neighborhood? Our friends?

I tried to talk to my mom about this a few years ago, after I’d finally done some therapy. She wasn’t too keen to talk about it. Her remark was, “wasn’t it just fondling?” Just? Are you kidding me? She still doesn’t know about the digital raping.

My mom denied he did anything to anyone else. She claimed she couldn’t remember what consequences he faced, legally or within the church. She really didn’t seem to remember much of anything about the whole situation. Hearing that hurt me almost as much as the abuse. Feels a bit like I’m being swept aside and forgotten by the person who should’ve protected me, or at least helped me heal.

I don’t know how much our local church leaders knew, but it went through some sort of court process, so someone knew. However, this was in the 80’s in Utah – a time and place that didn’t favor the victim. It is so sad that this is how things still are.

My dad never went to jail. He was not excommunicated, to my knowledge. All I knew is that it didn’t seem to matter. No one asked me if I was okay. No counseling. I suffered in silence alone for almost 4 decades.

At age 12, I was sexually assaulted when I spent the night at a friend’s house. It was her uncle. I woke up twice in the night – the first time he was pulling down my underwear, the 2nd time I was naked from the waist down. My underwear was on the floor across the room. I don’t remember what happened. Again, didn’t breathe a word to anyone. Why would I? No one seemed to care the other times it happened.

I’m no longer a member of the church. It sickens me to know there are children getting profoundly hurt, but the abusers are protected. Abuse impacts so much of a person’s life. It’s beyond frustrating to know that the LDS church worries so much about it’s reputation and cares so little for the victims from the toxic environment it breeds.

Read 41 survivor stories by victims of sexual abuse or shaming perpetrated by Mormon church members or leaders. has a free public database of hundreds of Mormon sex abuse cases.