I lived outside

All of my ancestors were Mormon pioneers, in fact some notable ones, I’m a descendant of Joseph F Smith.

My mother was very Mormon, my father however lost his faith and left the church and us.

He left my mother with three young children.

My mother did not feel complete without a husband, a Mormon husband.

She very quickly met my stepfather, Howard Lee Watson.

As an autistic child I never liked or trusted him.

I was sent to his house to a pool party.

I went swimming and got cold.

Lee told me that I could go in the house into one of the bedrooms and take my bathing suit off, throw it into the hallway and he’d dry it and throw it back into the bedroom.

I was 8, nobody had ever discussed sexual predators with me.

I agreed.

In the bedroom, Lee came bursting into the bedroom, I hid naked and terrified in the closet while he masturbated.

I somehow knew that he knew I was in there naked and scared.

I knew he was enjoying it.

Later the bathing suit was on the floor.

Later I was sent to meet his daughter and I watched in horror as he molested her.

Then he tried molesting me, I screamed at him and ran out of the house.

My mom came to pick me up.

He told her I was rude to him, and she made me apologize to him.

Me, my sister, and his daughter were flower girls at their wedding.

I repeatedly told my mother about the abuse, she did not leave, she made excuses.

she told me she was pregnant and couldn’t leave.

She wanted a boy, he wanted a girl.

It was a girl.

I was acting out because I was being molested so much.

I got punished a lot.

My mother told me I was possessed.

I was taken to the bishop and forced to have a blessing.

The bishop knew that Howard Lee Watson was a pedophile, he told me and my sisters to treat Lee with forgiveness and pray for him.

When I was 12 I told a friend at school about the abuse, she told our teacher who called the cops.

The police came out and talked to Lee and my mom.

Nothing happened to them, but I was punished.

The ultimate punishment.

They put me outside

I was put outside in an old dilapidated tent trailer without electricity or plumbing.

I lived in filth, exposed to the elements for three years.

i almost died of exposure out there.

i ran away at 15

– Andrea Anderson

Read 41 survivor stories by victims of sexual abuse or shaming perpetrated by Mormon church members or leaders.

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