If your Mormon/LDS bishop fails to report sexual abuse to police or proper authorities, here are some things you can do about the situation.
First, are you the one who has been or is being sexually abused? If so, you may need to get immediate help.
LDS Sexual Abuse Victim Resources: How to Get Help
You can call local police yourself about the abuse. Dial 911 in most locations in the United States, 999 or 112 in the United Kingdom, 112 in many parts of Europe, or a different emergency number.
In the US, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1.800.656.4673 (800.656.HOPE) for 24/7 confidential support.
Remember, what happened to you was not your fault. Despite LDS teachings that abuse victims may sometimes be at least partly responsible for their abuse, you are not to blame – not even a little – for the harmful choices of another person.
In some LDS sexual abuse cases we’ve documented, LDS bishops failed to report abuse and the abuse sometimes continued for years.
I’m not the abuse victim, but I found out about abuse in an LDS ward that the bishop or stake president didn’t report to police. What can I do?
If someone else in your LDS ward is the victim of sexual abuse and there is failure to report by your bishop, or if you discover that a Mormon bishop in another ward is failing to report abuse, there are still ways you can help.
How can I tell others about sexual abuse I’ve discovered in a Mormon ward?
FLOODLIT.org has an anonymous Mormon abuse survivor stories area. You can browse or search among many experiences shared by others, or you can share your own personal experience. We keep all victim stories anonymous, to protect the innocent.
When we shine a light on abuse, we diminish its ability to stay hidden, which may empower other victims to come forward, help precent further abuse, and bring accountability and justice. Abusers often love to keep their behavior a secret. In some cases in our LDS sex abuse database, the abuser moved from one Mormon ward or branch to another and didn’t inform their new bishop or congregation about their abusive past.
While the LDS church does have a policy regarding annotations (special notes) on membership records of sexual abuse perpetrators, it’s not always followed, and even when Mormon bishops report abuse and make sure abusers’ records are annotated, they may not tell their ward members about the abuse.
Can I report sexual abuse by a Latter-day Saints church member directly to FLOODLIT.org?
If you know there is a public record of accusation, such as an arrest or a civil lawsuit, or even a formal reprimand or punishment like a professional license being revoked, please contact FLOODLIT and let us know about the LDS sexual abuser.
You can even report Mormon abuse anonymously, whether it happened yesterday or 50 years ago. The effects of abuse can be permanent, especially without therapy or other forms of help.
“My bishop failed to report abuse. Is there hope for me?”
Yes. We believe there is always hope for you, regardless of whether your bishop reports it.
You are not alone. We’ve spoken with hundreds of survivors of sexual abuse by an LDS abuser.
Please contact us if you have any questions or information about an unreported LDS abuse situation.