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Why Victims Are Coming Forward
Reports have found that thousands of current and former members of the Mormon church suffered from abuse at the hands of high-ranking church officials. Many of the leaders in the church knew of the abuse yet continued to take part in widespread cover-ups to limit police involvement.
Mormon families attempting to expose instances of sexual abuse within their communities have alleged that they faced suppression and threats of disciplinary action from church leaders.
- In one case in Idaho, two members claimed they were warned of potential punishment after alerting their congregation about their former bishop facing child sex abuse charges dating back a decade. Despite being aware of the allegations, the church allowed the bishop to remain an active member for months, prompting members who tried to speak out to face threats of disciplinary action. The bishop, Dylan Whiting, was eventually charged, convicted, and sentenced to prison.
- Another case in Minnesota involves a social worker who asserts he lost his church position for speaking out about a registered sex offender in a leadership role. Michael Benjamin claims he was silenced after questioning the appointment of a registered sex offender, Michael Adam Davis, to a senior church role. Benjamin was stripped of his positions within the church and faced account suspension after raising concerns about the lack of background checks. Davis later reoffended, leading to his conviction and a 30-year prison sentence.
- The Mormon Church, based in Utah, also faces a significant lawsuit alleging a pattern of 'concealing' sexual abuse to protect its reputation. These allegations support previous reports on victims accusing Mormon leaders of concealing a sexual abuse 'epidemic,' comparable to scandals in the Catholic church. Around a dozen victims have shared their stories, unveiling decades of alleged cover-ups.
The church's commitment to youth protection has been questioned, and members argue that it prioritizes protecting its reputation over the well-being of victims. The accusations against Mormon leaders underscore the challenges and controversies surrounding the handling of sexual abuse within religious institutions.
The church also started a "hotline" for victims to call to report abuse. However, the "hotline" directed victims to the church's law firm instead of to authorities.
Thousands of current and former victims are filing individual claims against the church. Those impacted are encouraged to come forward and receive a 100% free legal case review.
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