Adultery, Agency, and Innocence
by Jennifer Roach
“The two carried on an affair that spanned 3 years.” I was as shocked as anyone to see it in print, and to hear it put that way. An affair? I felt like I was reading about someone else – some couple who knew the boundaries, and willingly broke them. These were people to be punished and kicked out of the church. And then I realized it was talking about me.
But it couldn’t be – I was 14 years old.
The document I was reading had been unearthed as part of a court case. I was suing my childhood church (I was raised outside of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) for the sexual abuse I experienced there. If you care to know the details a quick Google search of my name will lead you to a series of articles printed on the front page of my hometown newspaper. Taking my church to court had never been part of my plan. And I was well aware that the statute of limitations had long ran out on this crime. But over the years I had tried to get the church to take some kind of responsibility for what happened. They never would. I found a way to take them to court despite the statute of limitations being over. Everything in my experience told me that was abuse, it was not my fault. I was a victim – many people who have been through sexual abuse avoid that term, but I’m okay with it. It’s accurate. A terrible thing happened to me. I’ve done the work to heal from it. But it will always be a terrible thing that I did not ask for. [Read more…] about Come, Follow Me Week 24 – Doctrine and Covenants 63