My name is Aimee. I was raised in the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but after experiencing the molestation of a young girl who was very dear to me, I started to question the church. My mother who was born into the church as well was molested and raped by her brothers every night from the age of 8 to 16, when she finally moved away from home to escape the abuse. The church, as it seems, did not take action against my uncles. My two uncles were encouraged to come to church and repent. My uncles brutally tormented my mother for all of her childhood, and the bishop, fully aware of the abuse, did nothing. Likewise, my father was physically abusive towards my mother. The church, who my mother turned to in desperation, encouraged my father to go to church and took no other action.
When I was fifteen, I was babysitting two young children who were very dear to me in the church during a relief society meeting. I lost track of one of the children for about 5 minutes. I found her being molested by a new teenage-boy member in a Sunday school classroom. Finding this, the sanctity of the church was stained for me. A place that once felt like home was a crime scene to me now. I began to read everything I could about the church, and questioned everything that once comforted me about being Mormon. The boy who molested that dear five-year-old girl was, as my father and uncles were, encouraged to go to church and was not turned over to the law. The excessive sexual abuse that went ignored within the church caused me to quit attending and eventually caused me to lose my testimony in the church. I experienced suicidality at losing my own faith which was once so strong and began to self-harm.
More than anything, children in the church should be safe from sexual abuse, and bishops should help protect children from continuing abuse and danger. Protecting children from such corruption might save their testimony. It may also save them from a lifetime of shame and mental pain.