Many continue to ask how they can help. Well…frankly…you have helped a ton.
- 11,000 signatures on the petition. Much as a result of people sharing it with courage, passion and push back from your friends.
- 152 stories shared on protectldschildren.org. I now know how damn hard and painful it can be to reveal your story in public. Regardless of whether or not your name is hidden or anonymous. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I have shed many tears as I read your words.
- Today’s Tribune article by Ethan Dodge.
Here’s how you can help NOW
On Thursday January 18, 2018, we are holding a News Conference to protect the children. Lot’s of media are expected. Of course, it’s always possible that no one will show. But, with all the press coverage during past 3 weeks, it’s likely that it will be a great media affair.
Besides media, I’m inviting EVERYBODY. This can make a huge difference in our cause.
Here’s what you can do:
- Come yourself
- Bring others
- If you can’t come, encourage others to come
- Share this blog article
- Mark that you are coming on the Facebook Event page (Well…I don’t have that put together yet…It’s coming)
- If you have media contacts, encourage them to come
If ten of you attend…I’ll be grateful.
If 50 of you attend…that will be awesome.
If 100 attend…it will be noted by the media.
If 300 come out…Oh My Goodness…It would be a precursor to the march that will be announced at the news conference. Three hundred people would be a huge! But, I’ll be grateful if ten is the number.
The wheels are turning. The locomotive is moving. We, the lions are roaring. All for the safety of our children.
Below is the news release that has been distributed widely throughout Utah.
News Release–Protect LDS Children
When: January 18, 2018 10am
What: News conference
Where: 50 West Club & Café located at 50 W. Broadway in Salt Lake City.
Event: Protect LDS Children
- Current status of the Petition: Protect the Children—Stop Sexually Explicit Interviews of Mormon Youth.
- Large collection of survivor stories.
- Announcement of the March-for-the-Children to deliver the petition to the Church Office Building.
Three speakers will be on the podium:
- Sam Young, concerned father, former Mormon bishop, petition organizer;
- Joelle Casteix, sex abuse victims’ advocate, Western Regional Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network;
- Natasha Helfer Parker, a certified sex therapist and licensed marriage & family therapist.
For decades, it has been common place for a significant number of LDS Bishops to pose questions of a sexual nature to children, all alone, behind closed doors. This practice has caused incalculable damage to our children.
The consequences range from childhood self-loathing all the way to sexual abuse and suicide. The goal of Protect-LDS-Children is to bring a halt to these dangerous and damaging interviews.
The petition has now garnered well over 10,000 signatures. 5,000 of the signers are from Utah. Many of them are active LDS members.
To date more than 1,000 survivor stories have been collected. They recount horrifying and heartrending interviews, the accompanying trauma and the lasting damage. All of this has been done to our children behind closed doors of bishop’s offices.
The time has come to bring this practice to an immediate stop. How this will be accomplished will be a central part of the news conference message.
Houston business owner, father of 6 daughters, active LDS Church member, decades of service to the LDS church including bishop, bishopric counselor, ward mission leader, ward young men president, stake young men president, stake public affairs director, stake activities director, high councilor, high priest group leader, seminary teacher, institute teacher and several special assignments. Served full time mission in Guatemala/El Salvador.
Sex Abuse Victims’ Advocate; Western Regional Leader, SNAP, the Survivors Network
Named one of Orange County’s 100 Most Influential People, Joelle is the award-winning author of the bestsellers The Well-Armored Child: A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Child Sexual Abuse (RiverGrove Books) and The Power of Responsibility (based on her wildly successful TEDx talk.) A successful writer and blogger, she is also a leading national “in the trenches” expert on the prevention and exposure of child sex abuse and cover-up, especially within institutions such as the Catholic Church.
A former journalist, educator, and public relations professional, Joelle has taken her own experience as a victim of child sex crimes and devoted her career to exposing abuse, advocating on behalf of survivors, and spreading abuse prevention strategies for parents and communities. Her writing has been featured in The Orange County Register, Parenting.com, and hundreds of other blogs and magazines nationwide.
Since 2003, Joelle has been the volunteer Western Regional Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. In that capacity, she has traveled the world exposing abusers, helping victims get healing, justice and accountability, and researching predatory abuse patterns in institutions.
Her expertise includes an in-depth understanding and recognition of patterns of abuse, predatory behaviors, grooming, prevention, institutional disregard, and criminal cover-up.
She also conducts trainings for families, churches and communities on how to raise empowered children and keep our communities safe from child sexual abuse.
Natasha Helfer Parker, LCMFT, CST
She has practiced for over 20 years, primarily working with issues of relational health, faith journeys, and sexuality. She is a Certified Sex Therapist and Marriage & Family Therapist. She writes a blog called “The Mormon Therapist,” and hosts the podcasts “Mormon Mental Health,” and “Mormon Sex Info.” She also runs a sex education program, “Sex Talk with Natasha” and her private practice, “Symmetry Solutions.” For more information visit natashaparker.org.