Salt Lake City UT--Founder of Protect LDS Children facing church discipline, SNAP responds
For immediate release, September 5, 2018
Statement by Judy Larson, Volunteer Utah SNAP Leader, 801-831-5277, [email protected]
Sam Young, founder of Protect LDS Children, recently received a letter from the Mormon Church, summoning him to an excommunication hearing in Houston on Sunday, September 9th. He held a press conference in Salt Lake City today to discuss the Church's action.
Mr. Young has been on a campaign to raise awareness about the negative impact of sexually explicit one-on-one interviews that take place in the LDS Church. The Bishops who conduct these interviews do not receive any special training, nor are they subject to background checks. Mr. Young’s organization has documented the very real harm suffered by children during this completely unregulated process.
In spite of all of Mr. Young’s efforts, the Mormon Church has refused to speak with those survivors of this dangerous practice who have come forward. Instead, it is seeking to shut down any conversation before it begins by discrediting the man who is spearheading this important movement.
This is a familiar scenario to us. We call out a faith community that, like the Catholic Church, would rather silence whistle blowers and victims rather than address the institutional policies that endanger young people. The use of these private interviews to inquire about sexual fantasies, explicit sexual acts and sexual desires, is, in fact, a form of abuse.
We hope that the LDS Church will not spend decades coming to terms with its problems, as the Catholic Church has. As survivors, we urge Mormon leaders to apologize immediately to the victims, to recognize the damage these interviews have caused, and to change this dangerous practice.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been working for thirty years to support victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings and has more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)