FLDS women become victims advocates

ST. GEORGE, Utah (News4Utah) - FLDS women from the polygamous towns of Hildale and Colorado City were in St. George learning about how they can help those who may have suffered abuse.

At Dixie State University FLDS women are furthering their education, becoming advocates for victims for sexual assault.

"This has given me a greater understanding of what sexual assault victims go through," said Esther, an FLDS mother.

Those in the FLDS faith are still wary of camera's, and not all of these women felt comfortable showing their face, but they felt strongly enough about what they've learned this week to share their voice.

"I want to be able to help them move on and move past that terrible incident in their lives," said Esther.

Voices of Dignity a non-profit in Hildale run by Christine Marie, who helps those in the FLDS faith. She encouraged the women to spend the week being trained as Sexual Assault Victims advocates.

"These people want to keep their children safe. They want to try to protect children and adults from sexual assault, so I am very proud of them," said Marie, Voices for Dignity Founder.

"At first I was like: 'Wow, what am I getting into?' But the more you get into it, the more you realize the need for it, and the good it can do. I am very glad I'm here," said Norma, an FLDS mother of 13.

The women will be certified to provide emotional support to victims, as well as assist victims during forensic exams. They plan to take their knowledge back into their community to lend support, and educate. "

When they start having these assaults- the young girls, the teenagers, they don't know how to say no ... and so they'll say: You should have known better. Well should they? They've never had to," said Norma.

Representatives from the Utah Coalition against Sexual Assault provided training. The trainings were facilitated by those with the Dove Center in St. George.

If you or someone you know needs help, call the toll-free Statewide 24-hour Sexual Violence Crisis and Information Hotline at Rape & Sexual Assault Crisis Line 1-888-421-1100. The Utah Coalition against Sexual Assault (UCASA) reminds people there are 11 community-based sexual violence services in Utah. Click herefor locations.

This piece first appeared on good4utah.com. Click here to read the original article.  


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