90% of Provo rapes not reported to police

BYU officer tells women to raise their awareness

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  • Rape is a crime!
    Feb. 6, 2010 5:01 p.m.

    ape is forced, unwanted sexual intercourse. Rape, sometimes also called sexual assault, can happen to both men and women of any age.

    Rape is about power, not sex. A rapist uses actual force or violence – or the threat of it – to take control over another human being. Some rapists use drugs to take away a person's ability to fight back. Rape is a crime, whether the person committing it is a stranger, a date, an acquaintance, or a family member.

    No matter how it happened, rape is frightening and traumatizing. People who have been raped need care, comfort, and a way to heal.

    What Should I Do?
    What's the right thing to do if you've been raped? Take care of yourself in the best way for you. For some people, that means reporting the crime immediately and fighting to see the rapist brought to justice. For others it means seeking medical or emotional care without reporting the rape as a crime. Every person is different.

    There are three things that everyone who has been raped should do, though:

    Know that the rape wasn't your fault.
    Seek medical care.
    Deal with your feelings.

  • ATX
    March 16, 2008 10:06 a.m.

    The reason for this sad situation of wrong overpowering feeling of loosing one's virtue by mormon rape victims can be found in their own church's teaching. In Moroni 9:9 it says-"For behold, many of the daughters of the Lamanites have they taken prisoners; and after depriving them of that which was most dear and precious above all things, which is chastity and virtue--" and in such teachings as this- The Prophet Heber J. Grant "...There is no true Latter-day Saint who would not rather bury a son or daughter than to have him or her lose his or her chastity -- realizing that chastity is of more value than anything else in all the world."

    Of course the outcome of such insane teaching would be a feeling of total worthlisness by any mormon rape victim. Truly sad.

  • ds
    Jan. 31, 2008 9:29 p.m.

    I mentioned earlier that I would address this issue of church doctrine supporting the loss of life over the loss of "virtue". This idea comes from lds literature, not scripture. Obviously, there is a substantial difference between the two in regards to their validity as official church doctrine. However, even if one were to view Spencer W. Kimball's statements as being doctrinal, there is no grounding in saying that this position is unchristian. Christ took many "hard-line" positions that seem to disagree with a conventional type of compassion. For example, Christ said that those who divorce for any cause other than fornication, and then remarry, are in adultery. There are other biblical examples in which those speaking on behalf of God take a very "hard-line" position. I think that it is important to examine the context in which these type of statements are often made. It is commonly believed that Christ's position on divorce was based on a celestial law, not temporal church law. In LDS doctrine there are some laws that are accepted as true, but not currently expected of it's members (i.e. the law of consecration). President Kimball's comments might be viewed in the same way.

  • Leanne
    Jan. 31, 2008 5:58 p.m.

    Seven years ago I to was raped while studying at BYU, by a guy who was a RM and a supposed "good priesthood holder and role model". When I reported it I was met with contempt and disbelief with sayings of he would never do that, are you sure and many other comments that just humilated me. My friends ostracized me and eventually I left ashamed of myself.

    My Bishop was excellent and helped build up my self esteem over a long period of time. Now I am married to a wonderful man and have a beautiful daughter and life is great. As to the perpetrator, last I heard he was convicted of multiple sexual offences, including rape and is doing a 20 year jail term, with men that I hope are doing things to him what he did to me and many other women.

    Rape does happen in the LDS community, Women are the victim not the problem...but you can get past it. I have!

  • Reader
    Jan. 31, 2008 3:38 p.m.

    This thread had gotten totally out of hand with charges being made willy nilly from all sides.

    To wit: The police report on "unreported rapes" but the newspaper and the police never, ever say how they come up with the statistic. Why shouldn't that be questioned.

    It has absolutely nothing to do with the wild side trips a majority of you on here took. Talk about, rumor, snide remarks, dumb comments, even dumber questions too many felt needed to be posted. You didn't want answers, you wanted to feel important. You missed.

    Don't ask questions if you don't have the answer and are totally unwilling to listen to the answer given by those who know. i.e. "why don't bishops read their handbooks" That was a classic. That makes the assumption that none do. Dumb.

    Clear the hard drive.

  • D Davis
    Jan. 31, 2008 12:12 p.m.

    How do you know how many unreported rapes there are, unless the unreported ones are reported???

    There's no way to know how many rapes are unreported unless they're reported, in which case they're no longer "unreported"

    This is a logical contradiction, a fictitious black swan argument (an unknowable - per Nicholas-Taleb).


  • Lindsay
    Jan. 31, 2008 11:00 a.m.

    This article brought me to tears, that was me when I was twelve and was raped. It is so confusing for a young girl to be told in church that you should be saving yourself for marriage and then to go through the trauma of the rape. I did try and kill myself shortly after because of the thought that I wasn't worthy or that I hurt my family. I think more LDS families need to be straight forward with their children about sex and it needs to be brought to the attention of the teachers in church that they don't know what the girls have gone through in their classes and this straight forward black and white way of teaching can cause more harm that good.

  • Law Enf
    Jan. 31, 2008 9:29 a.m.

    Rape - bad - very bad. That said, (and this is from a former law enforcement officer) Arnie Lemmon is not qualified to make this kind of wild assertion. I can tell you that with more experience in the same area this number is an irresponsible exaggeration.

  • Rape victims are chaste
    Jan. 31, 2008 9:25 a.m.

    I don't believe this article is accurate. I am not saying that rapes do not go unreported. I believe that every victim should report this crime.

    My faith (I am LDS) does not preach that anyone who is a victim of rape is impure or unchaste. Only a victim can really understand the range of emotions one might feel after a rape.

  • Diamond Ladi
    Jan. 31, 2008 8:59 a.m.

    I remember as a new convert in the early 80's hearing that it would be better for a parent to bury a child who had fought for their virtue than for that child to lose their virtue- that really upset me. At the time the conventional wisdom for women if they were being attacked or raped was to not fight back- that they would more likely be killed then. Since then the law inforcement people have done a 180 on it- Now they tell you to fight back any way you can (which is why self defense classes are important for women)
    Classes for men would be good too- NO means NO etc. and how to spot other guys who may be perpetrators of Date Rape-
    The thing we need to realize too- for victims, and for those who have just strayed(I'm talking virtue here) Isn't the atonement big enough to cleanse and to heal?

  • e smith
    Jan. 31, 2008 8:26 a.m.

    As I have read the postings here, I hear a continuing theme that LDS and other church leaders are preaching that the victims need repentence. That doctrine is incorrect, and if it exists, ought to be erradicated. But, I wonder if ther hasn't been some misunderstanding or confusion along the way. I cannot conceive of a church leader telling a victim to repent or seek forgiveness, but I can understand and have seen counsel to apply the Savior's atonement. There is a difference. Suggesting that a victim seek the healing power of Christ love is not the same as telling someone to repent, but that atonement heals much more than sin. It can save the soul from fear and pain and trauma. It can help a victim to forgive the abuser, thus freeing the victim from the damaging effect of harbored hate. I suspect what has been characterized as counsel to repent might have been counsel to apply the atonement. I hope that is true, though it is sad that clergy, as humans, sometimes fall short.

  • Statistician
    Jan. 30, 2008 10:25 p.m.

    I don't necessarily doubt it, but how exactly did the Provo Police determine that 90 percent of rapes go unreported?

  • Heidi
    Jan. 30, 2008 9:46 p.m.

    don't blame the dominant religion of Utah County for making the victims feel like they are "perverted" or "impure" if they lived through a rape. The LDS Church Young Womens' auxiliary has had generations of programs to teach young women that rape is a horrible and violent act perpetrated by evil predators. They victims did nothing wrong--did nothing to deserve it. That the victims are still innocent and pure after the attack. It is natural for rape victims to be shattered emotionally and to feel dirty.

  • Dr. D
    Jan. 30, 2008 3:38 p.m.

    Unfortunately, there does seem to be a doctrinal undercurrent that suggests death should be preferred to losing one's virginity/chastity, but that idea is simply false. The reality is that the victim is not the person responsible for the crime at all (even though he/she may dress immodestly and not make clear his/her values up front) All accountability resides with the perpetrator of the crime not the victim, and purity is not lost in the case of rape, incest, molestation, it is stolen and the victims require no repentance. They require support and love.

  • Shame on You
    Jan. 30, 2008 1:29 p.m.

    I really don't see how it is a mixed signal at all to be in favor of greater help for rape victims and greater punishment for rapists, while at the same time wanting to avoid gross exaggeration of rape statistics. Those attacking myself and others who challenge the unsupported claim of "90% of rapes unreported" seem to believe that it is only through whipping everyone up into a frenzy that we will ever take the problem seriously, and I just don't think that's correct. We can take the problem more seriously by addressing it in a rational way, finding out how bad the problem is, where the problem arises, and then going after those responsible.

    As far as demonizing, grossly exaggerating the number of rape cases serves only to demonize the class of possible rapists, which from many of the comments on this thread includes every man walking the earth. Lower numbers that we can prove indicate a small number of violent criminals; higher, exaggerated numbers feed into the idea that every man out there could be one of the "many" rapists running around that we don't know about.

  • sami kaye
    Jan. 30, 2008 12:25 p.m.

    The story talks about two women who said they'd rather die, (or wished they had) than be raped. I wonder how many utah rape victims truly feel that way because I have talked to several rape victims and not one of them felt that way. These are pretty inflamatory charges for the purpose of degrading the prominant religion or for selling newspapers. That is irresponsible journalism.

  • Anon
    Jan. 30, 2008 12:21 p.m.

    People have a few points in their lives of which they are deeply ashamed. One of these for me was my reaction to a girl I was dating when she disclosed to me that she had been raped.

    My reaction involved much of what is being said negatively about the church's view and treatment of the victim. Back to the shame point I can barely talk about it anonymously to describe the details of my reaction.

    I think it is a valid point that there is a spread between doctrine and understood doctrine however I do not feel like there is sufficient effort to bridge that gap.

    Emphasis in absolutes such as pure vs. unpure. Member vs. non member. Returned missionary vs. non returned missionary. Temple marriage vs. non temple marriage has caused too many people too much pain. This emphasis misses the most fundamental doctrine that it is not perfect behavior which saves us but rather the atonement.

    It is a problem that people can not accept the victims. There is a problem in church culture. Hopefully we can all look inside our own souls and work toward a solution.

  • speaking from experience
    Jan. 30, 2008 11:33 a.m.

    I think that most rapes are not reported especially in Provo because of the LDS church. I know what you're thinking...here come all the bigoted "anti" remarks. But hear me out. A friend of mine was an active member in the church when she was raped/molested at the age of 13. She told her bishop of the incident, didn't go to the police because the perpetrator was an "elder" in the church and never reported him. Then she had to face the onslaught of abuse from the so-called "counselors" that came to visit her on an almost daily basis for about a month. They truly made her feel like less of human being, bombarding her with scriptures and showering in a curtain of guilt for something she had no control over. Eventually became manic depressive, lots of real counseling followed. She ultimately left the church so she could move past the incident and get on with her life, without the constant reminder of the way these people of "authority" made her feel. And now is doing quite well.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 30, 2008 11:24 a.m.

    Police officers have an important view of life (and crime, but it is not the only view. First LDS women are not the only women who feel guilty after being raped, women of all religions, and the non-religious, have felt that way for decades--or longer. The police officer has myopia, or maybe has been in Provo too long.

    And to claim there are over 400 rapes in Provo every year is complete nonsense. Granted not all rapes get reported, but 400 rapes in Provo? Does that mean there are 4000 rapes a year in SLC? I doubt that also. Deal with what you know, officer, not what you imagine.

  • Doubtful
    Jan. 30, 2008 10:09 a.m.

    I took a criminal justice class in college taught by former BYU Police Chief. He told me that a disturbing number of reported "rapes" on campus are really nothing more than women feeling bad the next day that they did the deed. The former Chief told us that some report rape when they find out they're pregnant because being pregnant means they have to 'wear' their sin. They think it's better to be seen as a rape victim than a promiscuous girl. Some, he said, don't even understand what rape is.

  • Rich
    Jan. 30, 2008 8:25 a.m.

    I am highly skeptical of the officer's estimate that only 10% of rapes are reported in Utah County. If this were based on an anonymous survey of women in the county, I would be more likely to believe it. Even one rape is too much. It used to be that rape was a capital crime -- a rapist could be executed. I would be against that for only one reason: many non-rapists would be falsely convicted.

  • Mr. Wizard
    Jan. 30, 2008 7:46 a.m.

    " This is terribly sad. But I wish they would explain how it is they estimate that 90% go unreported if they're, well, unreported. "

    They know how many rapes occur on average, and they exrapolate it from that. If they know that in a city the size of Provo, 400 rapes occur per year and only 43 are reported, then 43 is roughly 10% of 400.

  • ds
    Jan. 30, 2008 4:46 a.m.

    I get a little frustrated when the mormon faith gets attacked in forums like this. It seems as though political correctness goes out the window when mormons enter the discussion. I'm not referring to the article here, I'm referring to some of these posts. To implicate the mormon faith as a proliferator of sexual abuse via church culture is unfair, not to mention inaccurate. This type of rhetoric wouldn't be acceptable in a discussion about african american culture, and it shouldn't be acceptable here. Sexual crimes happen in every society, regardless of how religious or irreligious they are. One thing is for sure, rape is not a tenet of mormon doctrine, nor any other legitimate faith. Therefore, faith is not the problem.

    I understand though, that the main point of contention with the mormon faith has to do with the quote from President Kimball. I will address this issue later.

  • Victims' Advocate
    Jan. 30, 2008 2:17 a.m.

    To each of you questioning statistics, I have been a victims' advocate at the Center for Women and Children in Crisis for over 5 years now. In each of the past 5 years, we have helped hundreds of people every year, whether it be crisis line calls or actual responses to the hospital. All of the statistics are recorded, and I can assure you that the 400 number is accurate. In the last 5 years as a center, we help between 300 and 500 people per year with support groups, counseling, and information. While I think it's justifiable to question, I am here to back up this person's stats. If any of you would like actual numbers, feel free to contact the center and we would be happy to give you the # of people that we helped, which is significantly higher than reported rape, and significantly lower than unreported rape. I am a firm believer that education is the best defense for this. End the stigma that comes with crimes of this nature, and let's help the survivors.

  • Provo may attract (continued)
    Jan. 29, 2008 11:33 p.m.

    In the same line of thought, it's important to remember that there are "evil" people in the Church (or any church or authority position) not because they were good and turned evil, but because the evil look for places where they can manipulate or best perpetrate their sick desires.

    I just shake my head when people tell me that they don't lock their doors because they live in a "safe neighborhood." Like criminals don't have cars!

    I try to trust people but also try to keep my guard up. We can't prevent all criminal acts, but we can at least do things to avoid being an easy target.

    Please, don't anyone misrepresent my words to say that am saying the victim is at fault or should have avoided the situation. Nobody EVER deserves to be the victim.

  • none
    Jan. 29, 2008 10:56 p.m.

    I am older, one of my children was molested by a baby sitter. She told her mother, who approached the sitter's parents. I was never told, nor was it reported to the police.

    I found out years later, and asked why I had not been told. My wife said what would you have done and I said I would have killed him. She ws right. She then said that she and the kids needed a husband and a father.

    I was then and still am an active member. There are many reasons for not reporting such things.

  • Mary
    Jan. 29, 2008 8:05 p.m.

    unfortunately, these stats are common around the country. Rape is the number one least reported crime ever. Who wants to admit to having been raped? After all, any typical defense attorney will make you look like scum on the stand and your life is ruined in the public as well as in your mind.

  • Granny
    Jan. 29, 2008 8:03 p.m.

    It is time that this community face reality.
    Sexual Abuse, Rape, Domestic Violence is happening here in " Happy Valley."
    It is time that TRUTH goes forward and it is openly known where to go for help. Women and Children in Crisis Center, Bikers Against Child Abuse and Children's Justice Center just to name a few organizations.
    The fear needs to stop and the education needs to begin.
    Public Service Announcements would be so helpful !

  • mama2 4daughters
    Jan. 29, 2008 7:08 p.m.

    To those who claim they would resist rather than "allow " themselves to be raped, have you ever been in a life and death situation? I have. I woke up in a car and saw the people that had hit us were dead, heard my brothers dying cries and saw my mom laying on the dashboard. Knowing how I easily I could have woken up dead deeply shook me. I felt the need to live and it's painfully powerful. I don't know what I would do in any situation because of that experience. I can strut around and act all tough but think about it really. Someone who can easily overpower you and probably has a weapon. Thats when reality sets in. Authorities say survival is what is your priority. Not "fighting to the death".

    My heart goes to you survivors. Thank goodness you survived that terrible ordeal. Please don't pay any mind to any church books saying the victim is at fault. They are not experts. They do not understand what the body does in times of terror and trauma. Bless you. One rape is one to many.

  • wallyworld
    Jan. 29, 2008 5:18 p.m.

    I wonder how many of these rapist are members of the Church and/or Return Missionaires?? I ONLY feel sorry for the victims and their families not the perp. These ladies put their trust in these guys who appear to be good and "clean cut" but they turn up being the scum of the earth. But don't be confussed, I not saying that ALL of these guys are Mormons, maybe just some of them are. But you got to be carefull when you choose who you want to date. And PLEASE REPORT these thugs to the police ASAP.

  • ND
    Jan. 29, 2008 5:18 p.m.

    This is a horrible thing that should not be happening in the Provo area. I think the rape stats are high there because it's an "easy" place to target women, seeing that theres a University there. Also women who go there might feel safer or less cautious being in Provo, and at a very religious and good school.

    The idea that women should fight to the death than be raped is from Spencer Kimball in his book miracle of forgiveness.
    This was during the 70's when in my opinion the church had some social problems.

    "Even in a forced contact such as rape or incest, the injured one is greatly outraged. If she has not cooperated and contributed to the foul deed, she is of course in a MORE favorable position. There is no condemnation where there is no voluntary participation. IT IS BETTER TO DIE IN DEFENDING ONE'S VIRTUE THAN TO LIVE HAVING LOST IT WITHOUT STRUGGLE.

    This has been taught to many young women within the church, because people don't see its Kimball's opinion, in his introduction it said" no intent is implied that either the writer.....is without fault.

  • The Other Side
    Jan. 29, 2008 5:09 p.m.

    I whole heartedly agree with this article, women should NEVER have to feel vile or perverse after being attacked. However, we need to be sure they were in fact attacked and not crying "rape" because they had sex and didn't want to account for it. My roommates girlfriend said he raped her and after an investigation (unnecessary at best) he was cleared and the charges dropped. There is so much pressure to be perfect in our society and some girls would rather be the victim then be accountable for having sex before they are married.

  • liz
    Jan. 29, 2008 4:50 p.m.

    The police officer in this story has another calling to which he has yet to respond. He displayed little insight in his comments and "Rapeville USA" suggests an inclination toward a Barney Fife mentality.

  • Paperboy
    Jan. 29, 2008 4:44 p.m.

    It's insightful and important information, but it makes me wonder why the Deseret Morning News is deciding to publish this article from 2003 with five year old data? If DMN thought this was such an important topic to post to their website (DMN controls whether old articles are made available for comment and recently posted another article from 2003). It makes you wonder what the more current Provo/Orem rape data looks like?

  • Poncho
    Jan. 29, 2008 11:37 a.m.

    The passion in these posts is quite remarkable, and verifies the need to confront the issue. But what is the issue? Its unreported violent crimes! This is not a Utah or LDS thing. Unreported rape is universal. However, PARENTS can have a role (I have never "blindly" sent any of my kids to BYU as a 100% safety zone), and community leaders and law enforcement should be OUT IN THE COMMUNITY TEACHING if these stats are even a smidgen of what they show. If you HAVE to make it a religious issueGod will judge these victims with complete mercyeven if the event led them completely astray. He will properly punish the guilty. That is ONLY religious position one can really take. You just cant blame a church (ANY church) that works to SAVE millions from moral decay using pot shot examples of insensitivity. I would bet anything that developing strong religious values has PREVENTED more rapes or molestation than well ever know. All religions should be thanked for moral advocacy instead of condemned for periodic failure.

  • Bishops
    Jan. 29, 2008 9:47 a.m.

    I am sure that every Bishop takes his calling seriously and does his best. But we have to realize two things - 1) he is usually not an expert in crisis counseling (ie rape), marriage therapy, financial planning, etc. Individual Bishops may bring some outside expertise to their calling but many do not. 2) he is not going to receive direct revelation on these topics when they are brought to him. He will use his common sense, life experiences, what education or professional experience he does bring, or follow the Bishop's handbook which regularly changes over time. Therefore, members need to use their common sense in taking important, life altering situations and decisions to the appropriate professional rather than their neighbor who, while well meaning, is really just that - someone in their neighborhood who has been called as the Bishop for the moment. We are conditioned since we were youth with the talk of "mantle" or "revelation" to the point that we put such important and personal decisions in these men's hands.

  • Re: BossDj and Shame on you
    Jan. 29, 2008 8:38 a.m.

    I am a survivor, not a victim. Those of you who are hung up on numbers yet agreeing that the problem exists are sending mixed signals. Demonize? Isn't that what is being done to millions of victims all over the world? Aren't they being demonized for something happening to them that they had no control over? Do you not understand that to victims, survivors, their families and loved ones, numbers don't matter? Only that it happened and nothing is being done to stop it? Feel free to debate all you want. Wasted words when nothing is being done to bring a solution.

  • Shame on you
    Jan. 29, 2008 7:39 a.m.

    Again, to Deliverance777: shame on you for trying to stifle debate. I am not offended by your comments, for I make it a point not to be offended by those who refuse to debate issues, and instead rely on emotional rhetoric to make their points. It certainly does make a difference whether there is 1 rape or 400, and to state otherwise is quite possibly the dumbest thing I have heard this week. If there were a sum total of 1 rape in Utah County per year, the victim would still be in need of all the mercy and help we could possibly give her (or him), but it would not be a widespread epidemic of violent crimes, as would be the case if there were 400. Personally, I prefer accurate facts to rampant speculation and hyperbole, because facts are useful to solve problems. Hyperbole is useful only to demonize. If you want to demonize, you're not helping any victims, especially yourself.

  • doctrine and DOCTRINE
    Jan. 29, 2008 7:32 a.m.

    There is a difference in what is Church Doctrine and what people think is Church Doctrine. It is of little value to tell a rape victim many years after the fact that their bishop, whom they had absolute trust in, was wrong about church doctrine. I know every case is different, but there are standards that could be set for bishops to follow when certain sins, or in this case crimes, are reported to a bishop. It is not unreasonable to suggest that a bishop should be trained in these standards before he assumes the mantle.

    It has happened and continues to happen that some bishops are wrong in their response to rape victims. It should be standard that if a member of his congregation reports a rape, that said bishop immediately encourages the victim to get the police involved. They are the ones with the tools to both find justice and help for the victim with counseling.

  • Mom in MO
    Jan. 29, 2008 5:26 a.m.

    I seem to remember Elder Boyd K. Packer addressing the subject of rape some years ago in an Ensign article. He compared the act to a house being burglarized. Who would blame the house? Sorry, I don't remember all the details or even what year the article was published, but I think you can check the archives. Read for yourselves what the Church doctrine is before you post.

  • Boss DJ
    Jan. 29, 2008 12:45 a.m.

    To Deliverance777:

    I also agree with "Shame on You." It DOES matter whether it is 1 or 400. Would you rather live in a place where there are only a few rapes a year or a few thousand??? Where would you feel safer??? Numbers DO matter. Rape is indeed a horrible thing and there will always be rapes, so the best you can do is lower the numbers through better law enforcement, stricter punishment, etc. I realize that this is difficult to see for someone who is a victim, but it is the truth

  • RosaMaria Hurst
    Jan. 29, 2008 12:37 a.m.

    We need to explain out daughters and son about this danger. BYU liders have to deal with the problem, we send our children and we think they are in a "safe" place, the least they can do is to take the appropriate measures to have a safe dampus environment. I know this is not an isolate problem of BYU. Most of the university campus are having this problem, some of them are attacking the problem fr om different points of view. As per us parents we need to teach our children about this danger.

  • RE: Humble Dad
    Jan. 29, 2008 12:28 a.m.

    I qoute "HumbleDad"

    "Every man should accept responsibility for his thoughts and actions. We all know that at some point ALL men who have violated women will be punished. Whether publicly or privately they can not hide forever. If you are indeed innocent of such things, you will have no guilt.

    Do not try to read between the lines grasshopper, there are none."

    There is many things in you last 2 posts that don't add up. Women aren't the only victims. Sometimes women are the perpetrators, "Not just Every man" but every Person. I dont' claim to know the stats, but most likely women are raped more. But what about the men?
    You said "ALL men who have violated women will be punished." Does that mean that if a woman violates a man or a woman, she won't be punished? Or if a man violates a man, he won't be punished? DON'T make you arguement that it is always the Men who are the problem, Or that it is ONLY woman victims.

  • RE: l
    Jan. 28, 2008 10:28 p.m.

    Severity is by no means exaggerated. If anything, it's under rated due to failure to report. Thinking like yours is what allows the perps to go free without accountability for their actons and families left without mothers, daughters, wives, families torn apart and devestated. Again, it shouldn't matter the numbers, only that it happens and more needs to be done about it.

  • wYo8
    Jan. 28, 2008 10:12 p.m.

    By going to the authorities (hospital, police, family) immediately drugs can be given to prevent HIV, and other diseases if given within a certain time frame.

  • RE: Shame on you
    Jan. 28, 2008 10:05 p.m.

    I by no means am saying it is wrong to question statistics published by a newspaper, or any other form of media. I am saying what difference does it make if it's 1 or 400. Only that it happens. If you feel intimidated by someone who is being blunt and to the point, perhaps you would do well not to comment on something you have no personal experience in.My intentions aren't to intimidate. That is a foolish game. Perhaps it is me that you are trying to intimidate into silence because the truth doesn't present the clear picture that you have chosen to perceive. If you really believed what you say about rape being an awful thing, it wouldn't matter what the numbers are. And yes, I do speak from personal experience, as a survivor. We have chosen to ignore public opinions such as yours and get back up and live rather than die, so we can help others who find themselves violated as well. Shame on you for caring more about "numbers" than an actual living breathing human being created by God with an actual purpose here on this earth, which is not to be another statistic.

  • dcc
    Jan. 28, 2008 9:34 p.m.

    After reading some of the comments here I'm not surprised that women/girls don't report rape. Good ol "Arnie" says women shouldn't get on the internet. Women shouldn't date certain men. Another comment was the classic that women 'deserve' it due to the way they were dressed. This is a victim blaming mentality. The message here is clear. If you're raped it's your fault. If you don't fight it's your fault.

    Arnie suggested women take classes on avoiding rape. Why don't men take classes on dealing with feelings of violence and why they are unacceptable?

  • irchr
    Jan. 28, 2008 7:33 p.m.

    One of the greatest travesties for young BYU coeds is to think they are "safe" while living in Provo. A few years back my daughter was attacked in her apartment near the BYU campus. The Provo police treated all of us like we were the guilty ones. I was livid at their attitude. It was my daughters fault. I can't praise the women at the Provo womens center who believed us, and helped us deal with it. No one can beat them selves in the face and body like my daughter was beaten, but she did ward off the rape. Even BYU didn't want it brought up, but she got on TV and told about her attack. BYU didn't like it. but I wouldn't let it get swept under the carpet I was proud of my daughter for fighting back and telling her story. We love BYU but not their attitude about secrecy on this topic, but we have no love for Provo police. What a shame to put our daughters out there just to save some face. This is not what I had expected, but it is what we got. Shame on them, keep your girls safe.

  • Awsomeron
    Jan. 28, 2008 7:06 p.m.

    Rape is a Violent Crime angainst another Human Being. In General the Victim does nothing to cause the Rape. Even if the Victim "was doing things she/he was not supposed to be doing. Such as Dress, Place, Making Out Gone To Far after being told to stop etc. The Victim is not at fault. Protection of the Victim is of the Upmost Importance. Many Young and even Middle Aged Women and Men want to not realy embrace the World, they want to dip a toe in the World. Well sometimes when you dip a toe there is a hand right there to grab an ankle and haul you under. Temtation is a powerful force. Violent Rape is often an Expression of Anger and Rejection. It is still a crime and needs to be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Often the Victim is not the person that angered or rejected the Rapeist. They are just in the wrong place at the wrong time. If there is a stigma for reporting Rape then some women will not report it and would rather die then be exposed to the result of reporting the Rape.

  • Skeptic
    Jan. 28, 2008 7:01 p.m.

    I feel like Utahns are so occupied with being "clean" that we look away from anything unpleasant or anything that would infringe our view of ourselves as really good. I fear we turn our heads the other way and let too many of the vulnerable among us become victims of rape and other abuses. Hopefully we can wake up with stories like this and be willing to take an unflinching look at our own communities and bring these horrible secrets to the light of day and eliminate these hurtful acts.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 28, 2008 6:52 p.m.

    To add to my last post. It scares me that this is so rampant out there and I feel for those who have gone through this, it's disapointing to hear how many have been treated, but the bottom line is that there may be people in the church who may condemne or be misguided but the church itself does not look down on those who have been victim of this, I know of no one who have been disciplined for being the victim. Many have to understand that a Bishop is often learning as well, they don't have a college for these gentlemen to go, they will make mistakes. Not everyone called to be a bishop is going to do a great job! To condemn the church as a whole is ridiculous. That's like saying Disneyland is a bad place because one of there managers were rude and gave you bad advice.

  • Anon
    Jan. 28, 2008 6:24 p.m.

    I was raped by a classmate in a college here in Utah. I reported it to authorities and was very confused about what happened to me. This guy was very charismatic, telling people that no girl could say no to him and spreading rumors to humiliate me. I was told after I gave my report that it couldn't be determined if it was consentual or not and sent to counseling. I have never gotten over the confusion about what happened with this person who I thought was my friend, but I can say that if it ever happens again, I will not report it. It was so humiliating and painful to talk about and endure the rumors and looks from people who thought I was lying or a liability to the college. The man was later expelled from the college as other women came forward, but it didn't help me feel any better about my own trust in people or trust in myself. I still feel like I should have known what he was or fought harder.

  • Me
    Jan. 28, 2008 5:55 p.m.

    Here is something not mentioned at all!!!!

    How many women have been molested by their Doctors ?

    That is also a high number !!!!!!

  • John
    Jan. 28, 2008 5:41 p.m.

    If only people were allowed to defend themselves, by the use of deadly weapons such as firearms. Anyone who attempts to rape someone, deserves to die.

    Of course, instead, we teach our citizens to run to the police for help. A fat lot of good that does for a victim of a crime like this.

    I can promise you that if one or two rapist get their cahonies blown off, or wake up dead the next day, campus rapes will decrease dramatically.

    BYU campus is a a lightning rod for such crimes, because no one is allowed to defend themselves.

  • mymy
    Jan. 28, 2008 5:06 p.m.

    amen to Poncho.

  • MissionBelle
    Jan. 28, 2008 4:57 p.m.

    I am a survivor of not only rape but early childhood molestation and have found it amazing time and again how some people in my own religion cannot deal with this topic.

    I remember very clearly when my group young women were invited in with the adults for a lesson- on virtue and chastity. The woman gave the lesson misusing a quote by Spencer W. Kimball that he would rather young women die than have their virtue taken. That was it for me. Great, so Im as good as dead. It has taken many years of therapy to get over this, as well as getting better information from current living sources.

    Im not surprised at the crime/report ratio. Some believe that if they survive, theyre damaged goods. No one will want them. Thats because too many MEN arent equipped either to deal with all the emotional turmoil that can come from these violent crimes. Im still there, because although Im married, I still remember how it was for me trying to date LDS guys.

    There have been good articles, but not everyone who should read them does. One came in a late1997 Ensign. I wish there was a larger awakening.

  • HumbleDad
    Jan. 28, 2008 4:33 p.m.

    It has always been amazing how people unconsciously and/or deliberately skew what is written for their own baseless arguement. I made no judgement, but you may have felt threatened, so to clear your guilt you made something up to justify your own behavior.

    It is okay to recognize guilt and do what is right to get rid of it, so it doesn't come back to haunt you.

    Every man should accept responsibility for his thoughts and actions. We all know that at some point ALL men who have violated women will be punished. Whether publicly or privately they can not hide forever. If you are indeed innocent of such things, you will have no guilt.

    Do not try to read between the lines grasshopper, there are none.

  • G
    Jan. 28, 2008 4:22 p.m.

    Wow! To the comment the man wrote that he would fight to the death rather than "allow" himself to be raped. That is quite a comment since women don't allow themselves to be raped! Most women are not strong enough to fight off their attacker. I would never want one of my daughters dead instead of surviving a rape. No one knows how you would react in that type of situation. What if you freeze in shock?! What if there is a knife to your neck? What if you are bound up and can't move? You aren't giving in to a rape.

  • Poncho
    Jan. 28, 2008 4:26 p.m.

    Its a good thing you guys didn't quote other (non-LDS) religious leaders who CLEARLY put most of the blame on women. Kimball doesnt hold a candle to the evangelical leaders of his day...or worse, the prevailing attitude among many middle-eastern religious cultures today. (But that's just no fun for the LDS bashers.) If you really read what SWK is saying...he speaks of the (unwarranted) hardship a woman who is raped faces in society...having an OPINION to do anything to prevent that ridicule was not out of line in the 70's. (This is why I like the "follow the CURRENT prophet" approach) I've never had (or served with) a bishop who resembles anything written here so I can't comment on that. I don't care when the article came or if the stats are legit...if more victims come forward and law enforcement is more sensitive and responsible, it's a good thing. No woman deserves any of itshame on ANYONE who wants to minimize the article and topic!

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 28, 2008 4:10 p.m.

    I used to have a copy of a letter that went out to all the bishops of the LDS church from the First About (1985)Presidency instructing the bishops about rape cases. It was in favor of the victum,,,,they were not at fault and were not to be made to fill guilty. Why havent the bishops read this? It needs to be reissued and in their handbooks.

  • just the facts mam
    Jan. 28, 2008 4:03 p.m.

    This anti-Mormon chris is out of his mind. He is trying to make the Mormons look at fault for this. A wolf in sheeps clothing. Amazing how many anti-Mormons are saying bad things about Mormons after a good Mormon girl was shot in happy valley by an anti-Mormon. These Mormon haters are extremists like the KKK.

  • Difficult subject
    Jan. 28, 2008 2:56 p.m.

    Rape is a difficult subject. It is very sad that even one person suffers through such a crime. It is also terrible that many such crimes are not reported, because a rapist left uncaught often attacks more victims.

    Questioning statistics is perfectly valid. Newspaper writers often strike me as being more lazy than book authors. Perhaps it's because they are rushed. It would have been simple for the writer to insert a small parenthesized statement (statistics from the "XYZ report ...") Too bad newspaper writers on all topics are not more diligent in documenting their sources.

    Regarding the Spencer W. Kimball quote, "It is better to die in defending one's virtue than to live having lost it WITHOUT A STRUGGLE."

    It's already been noted this is not official church doctrine. But I think it is good council.

    I am male so perhaps you will ignore this. But I would sooner fight to the death than allow myself to be raped. I would resist in every way. If the criminal still overcomes me and I am still alive, during my recovery at least I would know I did not give in. And I would certainly want the criminal prosecuted.

  • Brian Thomas
    Jan. 28, 2008 2:15 p.m.

    If a crime has been committed against you notify the police as soon as possible. Don't wait. Your recollection will be clear and valuable evidence will be available. Don't talk to a Bishop, teacher, or school counselor about it. It was a crime so contact the police. If you need help dealing with the aftermath of the crime then talk to a family member, church leader, or school counselor. Every young woman (and man) should be taught this. Likewise, if your son was beat up at school, file a police report (assault), then contact the principal to make him aware of it.

  • @Houston Mormon
    Jan. 28, 2008 1:58 p.m.

    Since the book "Miracle of Forgiveness" is not cannonized as scripture, the opinions therein are those of the MAN Spencer Kimball, not the PROPHET Spencer Kimball. I'm tired of ANY extra-curricular books being written by ANY church leader being used as doctrine by ANYONE in the church. They are not doctrine in the slightest, nor should they be considered as such. In certain cases (Mormon Doctrine by McConkie), they were even asked NOT to publish them. In the case of rape, as much as it saddens me to say it, forget the council of even your most trusted church leaders, and strive to first and foremost draw to God Himself for the guidance and comfort, and forget the Deseret Book self-help section.

  • re: houston mormon
    Jan. 28, 2008 1:47 p.m.

    so a past lds leader says you should fight to remain a virgin.
    big deal.

  • annoyed
    Jan. 28, 2008 1:45 p.m.

    Justin R: "Stop publishing numbers you can't support."

    Congratulations; you're not the first person to glibly reject police statistics on this thread, but you get the earful you and all the others richly deserve. The explanation for the stats is given way up in the thread, but I guess you can't be bothered to read it.

    The police gather data on crime not just from their own reports, but also from survey data, using the same statistical and research methods used in the social and natural sciences. These data show significantly higher rates of crime than is reported to the police. Perhaps you think many people lie in surveys; but you could say that about police reports as well. I doubt anything will satisfy your ignorant pseudo-skepticism.

    People should learn something about crime statistics before they go around passing judgment on data given by the police (who know a lot more about the crimes and their victims than you do). If you want to question it seriously, go look for the raw data and the methodology yourself; don't expect a reporter to supply such lengthy info (which you probably wouldn't understand anyway) in the middle of a news article.

  • anon in NV
    Jan. 28, 2008 1:37 p.m.

    I was date raped when I was 18 (12 years ago). I felt horribly guilty about it, even though I knew it wasn't my fault. I didn't feel like I could talk to my parents, so I went to my bishop for help. He implied that maybe I was too scared to admit I had sex, and that I was using date rape as a cover up. Needless to say, if my own bishop didn't believe me, I figured no one else would. I did eventually get counseling and I confronted my attacker. Before that, I suffered in silence and it has affected my life in so many ways. My heart breaks for each victim of rape. Numbers/statistics mean nothing when it was YOU who was attacked.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 28, 2008 1:36 p.m.

    Humble Dad-

    Thank you for judging every man who questions the 5 year old statistics published by DN as not a christian.

  • Houston Mormon
    Jan. 28, 2008 1:33 p.m.

    From President Spencer W. Kimball in The Miracle of Forgiveness:

    "Also far-reaching is the effect of loss of chastity. Once given OR TAKEN OR STOLEN it can NEVER BE REGAINED. Even in forced contact such as rape or incest, the injured one is greatly outraged. IF SHE HAS NOT COOPERATED and contributed to the foul deed, she is of course in a MORE FAVORABLE position. There is no condemnation where there is NO Voluntary participation. It is BETTER TO DIE in defending one's virtue than to live having lost it without a struggle." (EMPHASIS ADDED)

    Let's hope the next LDS President reverses this vulgar attitude towards sexual victimization of Women (and Men)!

  • Yes, wrong attitudes are taught
    Jan. 28, 2008 1:10 p.m.

    kudos to the Des News for running less than flattering articles concerning topics such as rape, child abuse, and suicide in Utah which have much higher rates than the national average. One person stated that in 2004, govt statistics put Utah at #17 for rape, noteably those numbers did not include unreported rapes meaning Utah is probably much higher than 17 due to prevailing attitudes towards reporting rape. Utah is #1 for suicide, males age 15 to 48.

    It doesn't stun me at all to see immediate denial come out from people defensive toward protecting the image of this state. Attitudes like that are part of the problem, not the solution.

    Read no further than the Miracle of Forgiveness by Spencer W Kimball to see where these attitudes have come from in the past. He suggests that if a woman being raped feels any stimulated pleasure that she may also be impure and in need of repentance. Nonsense. The body, is susceptible to any kind of stimulus and just because horror doesn't overtake it doesn't make them impure. This isn't the only time leaders in the past have put forth attitudes that make the victims feel responsible.

  • School Psychologist
    Jan. 28, 2008 1:07 p.m.

    I am a lover of free speech. I am also a lover of intelligent thought. Good changes happen when we work together to educate ourselves and are not afraid of the truth. Let's continue to do that, and be careful not to let our desire to quickly criticize or become defensive get in our way. Everyone in our society approached rape victims differently 25 years ago, not just Mormons. Current LDS Church leaders do not admonish followers of the faith to persecute rape victims. To the contrary, they teach love, tolerance, and spiritual healing. If a church member (or members) does otherwise, it is because they are making a mistake, plain and simple. A loving Bishop who understands his calling seeks to help members to report sexual crime to the proper authorities, and further offers counseling and support to the victim on their road to wellness.
    Thousands of LDS Bishops are volunteering their time every day to do just that, and everyone of them is just a regular father, brother, husband, uncle, or cousin who has promised God that he would.

  • Rob
    Jan. 28, 2008 12:25 p.m.

    I think everyone is too hung up on the numbers, whether right or wrong. The fact remains that in every U.S. City these things happen, and it is a terrible shame. Parents around the world need to teach their children against sexual sin. However, it needs to be understood that being a rape victim is not sexual sin.

    This shouldn't be a debate over statistical numbers or moral values. Everyone needs to agree that rape is terrible, sexual sin is destructive, and being a victim does NOT make you impure.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 28, 2008 12:23 p.m.

    It just goes to show you how backwards some religious
    views truly are. I am not sure why this should be discussed in a headline in the newspaper. I think there are predators out there that my try to capitalize on other peopls misery.

  • Andrea
    Jan. 28, 2008 12:07 p.m.

    I recently moved to Provo and started working for an Anti-Pornography Company. Part of my work is research, writing, investigating, etc, sex crimes connected to pornography. And thus I stumbled upon this article. It's sickening and scary that this happens in general, let alone happens on a campus and in a place where, I think, most girls feel they are "safe." Because of that I think girls let themselves become more vulnerable to assault. It's clearly not their fault if it happens, but we should ALWAYS take precautions no matter WHERE we are - BYU or otherwise. I felt that way, "safer in Provo" - and now, well, I think I'll be just as cautious as when I was in London, or Paris, or living in SLC. I don't care about "Utah County" rape statistics - if there was 1 a year, that's enough for that one victim.

  • Justin R
    Jan. 28, 2008 10:13 a.m.

    If they weren't reported then how do we know they happened? Seems odd. Estimates are just that. You could be way off both positive and negative. Stop publishing numbers you can't support.

  • Barbara
    Jan. 28, 2008 9:51 a.m.

    Yes, I did notice that this article was printed in 2003. Let's get something newer to respond to! We all know that the victim needs love, care, and understanding. We all know that rapists are not normal in any sense of the word.

    What I found 'interesting' is to read of many that made this an anti-Mormon church forum. I think we need to remember that these "leaders" and/or "teachers" are just regular people who have some problems of their own. Unfortunately, most of the time we only hear of the abnomalities. I happen to be a Seminary teacher (release time)and have taught over 12 years. Never once, have I ever taught that being raped and/or commited a sexual sin warrants death. Remember the 'plan'? Choices, repentence, etc. Of my 3 sons who served missions, one came home early, and I certainly don't wish he had come home in a pine box.
    Come on! There are fanatics everywhere! Let's give some kudos to the functioning, mentally healthy people who choose to uplift, support, and care about those around them.

  • km
    Jan. 28, 2008 9:27 a.m.

    Recently I listened in horror to a BYU alumna of 15 years ago report her hours-long struggle with a rapist. She said she never reported it because she felt she would be made to feel like the victim as he was a return missionary & priestholder. She saw her attacker at other times with BYU co-eds and tried to warn her friends of his potential aggression but was always told they were just "horsing around". What shocks me further: she was apparently bruised and frightened when her roommates came home and no one noticed? The result: almost 15 year later, she is still struggling with the trauma.

  • l
    Jan. 28, 2008 8:57 a.m.

    Sorry, but estimated numbers like this are bunk, just like the 1 in 4 campaign, where they estimate that 1 in 4 women are victims of sexual assault. Large numbers are simply perpetuated by the anti-domestic violence industry, which itself thrives by exaggerating the severity of the problem. It is getting worse, yes. It is a terrible problem, yes. But the poster HumbleDad that claims that any man who questions the high numbers IS the problem? Are you serious????? That is the lamest excuse I've ever heard. One can dispute the numbers without disagreeing that there is a major problem and that we need to do things to fix it. Oh no, wait, I misspoke...one cannot dispute the numbers, no matter what, even if they are completely made up, because it is not politically correct to do so.

  • l
    Jan. 28, 2008 8:50 a.m.

    That is weird that this four year old story just popped up all of a sudden. It must have been linked to on some big blog somewhere.

    Anyway, to "Pray for Provo" when you compare the point of the article to things like the world being flat and that women shouldn't have the right to vote as obvious counterexamples, you may want to keep in mind that women in Utah were given the right to vote long before it was accepted across the rest of the country. So, your counterexample doesn't exactly work.

  • dave
    Jan. 28, 2008 8:47 a.m.

    hey true story, if a woman is TRAINED in the use of a defense tool, then they wouldn't be fiddling with mace in sacrament meeting. Also they wouldn't let someone take their weapon away from them. thats the value of training, as opposed to just having a weapon. if you tell yourself that you will just have your gun used against you, it probably will happen. Your mind is the weapon, your gun is a tool.

  • HumbleDad
    Jan. 28, 2008 8:19 a.m.

    As a advocate working with the Rape Crisis line in the 80's, I too experienced the fear of reporting rape by the victims. Usually a family member, acquaintance or former date is the perpetrator. However, the random acts are the ones usually reported. The problem is that when reported the victim has already washed-up or showered and removed the evidence making it impossible to secure hard evidence. Contrary to all the conjecture about how women dress, it has more to do with a victim being prone or alone, not staying aware, having or showing a low self-esteem or confidence. This is what the rapist is looking for. Typically the rapist has been reading pornographic stories (fantasies about sex) not just looking at pictures.
    The women of the world need to know that when men read pornography women become objects of aggression. The rapist does not even consider your feelings.

    Any man who questions that the numbers are too high is not accepting reality, denying the problem or IS the problem. Any man that calls himself a Christian should take this seriously and do his part to teach and protect those women that he has stewardship over.

  • shame on you
    Jan. 28, 2008 8:10 a.m.

    To deliverance777:

    What absolute nonsense! Are you really saying that we shouldn't question statistics that are presented to us by a newspaper, just because the subject is a highly sensitive one? Rape is an awful thing, rapists should be severely punished, and victims should be treated much better, but you should be ashamed of attempting to squelch honest inquiry into the true severity of the problem. One woman (or man) raped is too many, but it does make a difference whether the number of rapes in Utah County is 43 or 400. It is not narrow-minded arrogance, but a desire to obtain a clear picture of the true nature of the problem, and how dare you attempt to intimidate others into silence!

  • LM
    Jan. 28, 2008 7:59 a.m.

    I was a student at BYU more than 30 years ago. While walking to my job on campus early in the morning a man drove by slowed down and was exposing himself to me. I got his license number and kept repeating it all the way to work. I walked in, wrote it down and told my boss to call the Provo Police. My boss was excellent. They came quickly and took down my info. They called me later and said they kept driving by the mans house and finally his car was home. They felt the cars hood and it was still warm. I cannot remember if they questioned him but I think they did. Nothing was done beyond that. I wonder if he went on to rape women. I was lucky that time.

  • deliverance777
    Jan. 28, 2008 7:44 a.m.

    Rape is rape. Reported or not. For those of you who are balking at "numbers" how dare you trivilize the pain of someone else in your narrow-minded arrogance. Men usually are the problem. Rape, like domestic violence, is a power and control issue. And neither rape or domestic violence rank in the top 50 high priority lists of law enforcement and justice in Provo. Other cities as well. Attitudes like those who are so cynical in their comments to this article, are attitudes which make women feel hopeless and helpless, powerless to defend themselves physically, emotionally, mentally and publically. Why report it if there isn't going to be anything done about it? Why report it if you are just going to be adding public humiliation to your already private hell you are living in? Would you feel the same way if this happened to you or someone you loved? Even someone who was a mere acquaintence? If you refuse to be a part of the solution, then at least do it with your mouths shut and stop condemning victims.

  • To the so very Sad
    Jan. 28, 2008 7:10 a.m.

    Thanks for your honesty.Being rape is not sexual sin in the part of the victim; it is a gross vialation to the person body and spirit. It is time to stop protecting organizations "Right or Wrong". There are bad seeds everywhere. When things like that happen, they should be reporte to the police. The community shoul rally around the victims in support through counseling and in love.

  • james
    Jan. 28, 2008 5:05 a.m.

    Persons attitudes do need to be changed. You cannot blame the victim. It is never right to abuse someone-esp. sexually. It takes a sick person to do this. I have seen the horrible effects of this in people's lives-men and woman. SOme people have made choices and are bad people and their chances of changing are very slim. Mormon's need to be aware of these kinds of people. One cannot and should not take responsibility for someone else's actions even if that person doesn't own up. People need to be made accountable for their own actions and victims need sympathy, not blame. Knowing about narcissists and abusive people with no consciences is a good thing. Not all people are like you people need to know and not all people are going to change and become good. Some choose to be bad and stay bad and enjoy being bad. I learnt this the hard way.

  • so very sad
    Jan. 28, 2008 2:15 a.m.

    As a life-long church member, I remember sitting through many standard nights and seminary lessons all about this subject. "It is better to come home in a pine box than to have a sexual sin." What a horrible thing to tell a child. And we were told that very thing.

    Yes, we as a culture tend to blame the victim, all victims. In a burglary: the victim didn't secure their possessions well enough. In a rape: either the victim wore too provocative of clothing, or was jogging alone, or didn't fight hard enough to get away.

    All these arguments are baloney. Bad things do happen to good people. Heavenly Father won't always protect you from bad things. If He did, it would take away the agency of His other children. I wish that bad things could only happen to people who are bad, but in this life, that's not the way of it.

    As far as not coming forward - who can blame a victim for not wanting to be villified by the press, their church, family or the prosecution.

  • Sympathetic
    Jan. 28, 2008 12:53 a.m.

    An important point that has not been made is that promptly reporting to a local emergency room is important for many reasons after a sexual assault. It allows for documentation, collection of DNA, initiation of investigation, and connection to a psychological support system. Of course, this does not change the stigma which has been associated with sexual assault victims. Hearing personal accounts is often heartbreaking, and the compounded aspects of feeling unworthy/impure makes these crimes truly devastating. Hopefully we can do a better job of teaching these victims (male and female) that they are in fact victims. After that realization, then progress can be made to overcome the feelings of guilt and/or impurity.

  • Father of victim
    Jan. 27, 2008 11:58 p.m.

    My heart goes out to victims described in this article. So much still needs to be done to change attitudes in our testosterone-driven, blame-the-victim society. I know from personal experience that this is a widespread problem faced by young men as well as young women. I also know from personal experience that at least within the last 10 years, there were still LDS church leaders who believed that teen-aged, and even pre-teen victims of sexual abuse needed to repent for what they had done. I think I convinced one that he was wrong. Hopefully, there aren't more lurking out there who are damaging the fragile psyches of our youth through their ignorance. We all need to be vigilant to root out these harmful attitudes, wherever we may find them.

  • Anon II
    Jan. 27, 2008 11:39 p.m.

    On a happier note, at least this article generates a discussion that will hopefully bring about change in the attitudes of both rape victims and LDS church leaders. This cannot be a bad thing. It is a sad and unfortunate reality that rape victims in Utah and everywhere often feel a sense of guilt and embarrassment for something that IS NOT THEIR FAULT. It is an equally sad and unfortunate reality that church leaders, LDS and otherwise, have for generations stigmatized victims and wrongfully contributed to their guilt feelings by making them feel like they bore some responsibility for what happened to them. In fact, for many years, LDS leaders preached from the pulpit that a young woman would be better to give up her life than her virtue, perpetuating the myth that virtue can somehow be stolen. That view has thankfully been repudiated by the church, but apparently some leaders haven't got the message. Hopefully, with continued efforts by the church hierarchy, and education from well-researched and -written articles on this topic, the slow learners among us will come to understand, and rape victims will become more comfortable reporting and receiving help for the crimes against them.

  • Anon
    Jan. 27, 2008 11:31 p.m.

    Did anyone else besides me notice that this article was published October 16, 2003? What has caused it to garner so much attention more than 4 years after appearing in the paper? The article is supposedly based upon 2002 statistics, but as pointed out by many commenters, those stats are not explained or verified in any way. A better written, more fully researched article on this topic would be useful. Perhaps a follow-up story, based on solid, current statistics would be in order...

    to be continued

  • Awsomeron
    Jan. 27, 2008 11:22 p.m.

    I should not be that way, but it often is. Women should report True Rape Promptly. The offender should be cought and punished to the fullest extent of the law. However the fear and the stigma still exist. It is not the fault of the Dogma but is in part a result of the Dogma. Rape is not a sex act it a Violent Crime against the person who is Raped. The results can mess a person and their perhaps good relationships up for life. There can be guilt and baggage and social added baggage that will last a life time. The Idea is sometimes if you don't report the crime then it diden't happen. If you report it you are somehow less a person. Of course the victim is not less of a person. I feel bad for any Women who is Truely Raped. Even if she was "doing things she should not have been doing" That idea is judgemental and very wrong. Somewhat sick as in "if you play out side the box then you are going to get yours" Sometimes awful stuff happens to people that follow all the rules, just does.

  • Estimates
    Jan. 27, 2008 10:12 p.m.

    This really IS NOT a well written or well researched article. It's as if facts are a burden and we should just look past them and understand the 'bigger picture' that the author intended. If someone is going to make the claim that 90% of rapes in Provo go unreported, back it up. It's what we used to call journalism.
    As far as people in the LDS church thinking that a rape victim is somehow not pure, educate yourselves on the doctrine. That is one of the most ridiculous things I've heard. Of course a rape victim is still pure. Good grief! Excuse me while I go pull my hair out.

  • untitled
    Jan. 27, 2008 10:02 p.m.

    This story saddens and sickens me at the same time. Rape is one of the most violent and horrible acts that can happen to anyone. My mother was raped at the young age of 15. The rapist laughed at her as if he was proud of what she did. She told no one and felt that she was no longer worthy of being a good LDS woman. She thought that no man would ever want her. In the LDS culture we are taught the principles of chastity and virginity. When someone violenty takes that away from you, no matter if you are LDS or not - you have been victimized beyond belief. I cannot imagine the pain that these victims go through in overcoming this great trial. Any judgement these preditors receive, here or in the afterlife, is not strong enough. We not only need to educate women and girls but also educate the men. They are most likely the ones committing this crime. How can we reverse it? This is not just an issue for the LDS but for women everywhere.

  • Eli
    Jan. 27, 2008 9:52 p.m.


    I am saddened to hear of your daughter's experience, and the complete lack of help you received.

    You've probably done this already, but if you haven't, I would encourage you to contact the police department and let someone there know of your situation and how things have been handled--or rather not handled.

    People do care.

  • lady
    Jan. 27, 2008 9:22 p.m.

    I think that most rapes go unrepoted because you don't want to feel like an outcast. you get the feeling that no one will in church will understand you and they will treat you differently!

  • Lynn
    Jan. 27, 2008 6:58 p.m.

    30 years ago, I reported my incestuous father (not lds) and his abuse towards me...a new member at age 18, and I was instructed by my bishop to read the Miracle of Forgiveness to understand what I had done wrong..??? I think these poor bishops had not been equipped on how to deal with this sort of thing. I hope that is no longer the case, but cultural attitudes die hard. Sometimes it takes generations, sadly.

  • BArmstr
    Jan. 27, 2008 6:46 p.m.

    My daughter was sexually assaulted in Provo in 2007. She called the Provo police. Waited four days for a return call. Nothing. To this day, she has not been contacted. We are looking at months now. Wonder why the statistics are so low. They dont care.

  • Provenance
    Jan. 27, 2008 6:29 p.m.

    After volunteering for over a year as an advocate for my local Rape Crisis Center, I do believe the statement that most rapes are not reported. As a volunteer, I would meet with rape victims at the local emergency rooms, help them through the medical exam, inform them of their legal options, inform them of rape counseling resources, etc. A rape victim could choose whether or not to report the rape to police. Of the approximately 20-25 victims I helped, I can remember only one or two who chose to report the crime.

    Reporting a rape is a very difficult experience for an already traumatized victim. They must relate every detail of the rape to a police officer and undergo a rather invasive rape exam. In the end, most rapist are never found or charged.

    I wish these statistics were different. No one should have to experience this form of violence. At the very least, hopefully we can make rape victims understand that the rape was NOT their fault and that they are still good people.

  • Lets be Candid
    Jan. 27, 2008 6:10 p.m.

    As a young woman, which was not too long ago I'm a BYU Student right now. I listened to a talk given in a fireside by a young women who visited a foreign country and was almost raped. She stated that she would have died before giving up her virginity. I was molested as a child and thought, perhaps I should have asked to be killed as well. I struggled with this idea throughout high school. Fortunately, I have a strong will and self-determination. I sought counseling as a young co-ed and straightend out my head. Unfortunately not all students are as lucky as I am. When speaking to your children about values emphasize that vicitimization does not constitute a loss of virtue. They are not the same and should not be treated as such. That is why the victims identities are kept anonymous. There are some crazy people who do not understand that bad things happen to good people through no fault of their own.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 27, 2008 5:57 p.m.

    Quote: Even recently in YW (two years ago) I was taught that the sin second only to murder is sexual sin, and that we should be willing to sacrifice our lives rather than to be violated or lose our purity.

    People can say what they want about the way things should be, but the way things really are in the Church is still teaching this kind of stuff.

    Your YW class may have done that, but when my Bishop talked about it in Sacarament recently (singles ward) he made it clear that that is not the Church's stand on it. Purity has nothing to do with rape.. you are still pure. And that the General Authorities have never said it's better to sacrafice your life than to be raped, or in a different sense, lose your purity. (AKA you sleep around before marriage.)

  • Meg
    Jan. 27, 2008 5:51 p.m.

    Rape does not always mean full penetraion. It can also mean sexual molestation.
    Usually victims usually knows the rapist. It can be date rape, dressing/acting like a slut (attracts the wrong kind of men.. that's the danger). Somehow you came across as a 'victim". (However, that dosen't lessen the crime or make the rapist less evil.) The rapist usually targets his intended victim. He may pretend to be a fellow church goer, he may be a "member" of your religion, or he'll act like a friend. Look at Bundy.
    As for the LDS Church not being frank with the girls... isn't that really the parents responsiblty? That's like saying it's the YW leaders job to teach the girls about sex. You can teach self defense, and that's approbiate. That's in any Church, LDS, Catholic or Evangelist.
    About the feeling you should die. I don't know any rape victim that during the initial grieving part that did not felt that way. It's normal. It's not something caused by a religion. My friend felt that way when her boyfriend raped her.. and she is Aethist. After she healed she became an advicant for self-defense to prevent date-rape.

  • What's the Point
    Jan. 27, 2008 4:26 p.m.

    Men are the problem?

    I simply don't see the point of statements like that.

    So what does he suggest we do? Eradicate all men?

    Statements like that don't serve any meaningful purpose, other than to increase hatred and fear of men, which is sort of a stupid thing to do. Misogyny is a big problem in our society, but misandry is also (increasingly) becoming a problem.

    I love how he also trivializes the rape of men: "yeah it happens - but it doesn't happen very often, so it's not important." (Interestingly it does happen quite often in prisons, but I'm sure he'd think that's quite fine and acceptable and they really deserve it anyways because they're bad.)

    This is not to detract from the tragedy that this article describes - it is absolutely terrible that this should happen to anyone. But comments like his do absolutely nothing to help the problem - nothing at all. They in fact just create other problems that will have to be solved someday.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 27, 2008 4:10 p.m.

    I agree with one of the anonymous posters who said 'how could you feel anything but unclean..' I live in California, and this certainly isn't a Utah, Provo, LDS thing at all. Rape is a horribly underreported crime, and many, if not most, victims feel like they've done or become something wrong by going through it. The judgmentalism about it spans just about all cultures, religions, etc, etc. There will always be people who will question if it was her fault, there will always be people who doubt it happened, there will always be people who treat the victim differently after than they did before, and you'll find that everywhere. It's wrong, but it's just the way things are.

  • No Name
    Jan. 27, 2008 4:09 p.m.

    Even recently in YW (two years ago) I was taught that the sin second only to murder is sexual sin, and that we should be willing to sacrifice our lives rather than to be violated or lose our purity.

    People can say what they want about the way things should be, but the way things really are in the Church is still teaching this kind of stuff.

  • NY
    Jan. 27, 2008 3:06 p.m.

    It is so sad that some of these young women feel like they did something wrong and that they wished they had died. It does bother me that some fellow LDS are so hard lined about these types of things. I cringe at the thought of telling a young women that she should fight to the death in such a situation (and then she feels guilty for not having done that). I also cringe when I hear somebody say that they would rather their son come home in box than to be sent home early from his mission. Come on! This is over doing it. Bad things happen and mistakes are made. The focus should be on loving and nursing them back to emotional health.

  • Rich
    Jan. 27, 2008 2:57 p.m.

    BTW: I can't post a URL in here but if anyone is really interested in this do a google search on "Bureau of Justice Statistics" and then click on "Crime and Victims"

  • Rich
    Jan. 27, 2008 2:47 p.m.

    I'm a Criminal Justice/Forensics student at SUU. Just to clear up any confusion...there are two seperate crime reporting systems. There's the UCR (uniform crime report) which is database based on crimes that were REPORTED to the police and there is the NCVR (national crime victimization survey) which is a database based on a survey sent out to people asking if they were victims of a crime and if so...what one. The victimization survey is completely anonymous so you can infer that there are many crimes victims do not report. Unfortunately rape is one of the highest. In my criminology class the statistic given was as high as a 60% difference nationwide between rapes reported and actual rapes that occur (with a +/- 5% margin of error). Hope this helps.

  • Stat Guy
    Jan. 27, 2008 2:43 p.m.

    Someone please explain to me where he arrives at the 400 figure????? All I got was 43 reported in Utah, and suddenly it's 400. Help?!

  • Response to Matt's question
    Jan. 27, 2008 2:37 p.m.

    In 2004, Utah was 17th in the U.S. for rates of forcible rape, at 39.1 per 100,000 people. You can google search the information pretty easily, actually.

    Your anti-Mormon friend was way off, some states have rates more than double what Utah has.

    Nevertheless, 39.1 is terrible. And the treatment the victims seem to be getting is absurd.

  • Bad Statistics
    Jan. 27, 2008 2:32 p.m.

    Rape statistics have been a topic of debate for years. I'd love to find where these numbers actually come from.

    Rape is underreported - as are all crimes. Many crimes are too embarrassing to report, some not worthwhile to report, etc.

    Numerous so-called studies of "rape" have counted even unwanted advances or inappropriate comments as "rape".

    I have strong empathy for rape victims - don't get me wrong. But if we're going to start throwing around numbers trying to make some sort of change in public policy, let's actually make sure those numbers mean something.

  • mom
    Jan. 27, 2008 2:30 p.m.

    It isn't that people look at them differently. It is that they themselves perceive that they are looked at differently. It is a sad by product of any rape

  • YW Leader
    Jan. 27, 2008 1:12 p.m.

    A lot of the "beliefs" that a rape robs you of your purity is because we, as a group, don't teach our young women with straight talk. If parents and leaders don't teach girls with frank discussions, these misconceptions happen. The discussion doesn't have to be disgusting, but it should be straight forward. As a Young Women leader in the church, I have very honest discussions with the girls and they appreciate it. This is an adult world and we're sending them out into it - they need to be prepared.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 27, 2008 1:08 p.m.

    This is not a well written article. A topic like this should be given much more thought. Please back up your statistics. A half attempt at trying to write an article on a subject like this is a slap in the face of victims.

  • The Authority
    Jan. 27, 2008 12:28 p.m.

    Weird. If only 10 percent of the rapes are reported, how do they know the other 360 or so occured? How do they know only 10 percent are reported? How do you track things that are not reported? How do you quantify statistics without somekind of numerical evidence? It seems to me if you can track the number of rapes that aren't reported, you have a way of helping and/or encouraging those women report those rapes to the cops. Where did this Lemmon get her info? Sounds almost like she just made it up.

    Anyway, its horrible and sad that some women feel they can't report this ugly, violent crime. All rapes should be reported, and offenders prosecuted to the limits of the law!

  • True Story
    Jan. 27, 2008 11:30 a.m.

    Tumbleweed Tom,

    Because they might activate one of those things in church!!!

    My favorite farewell ended with the entire congregation being maced by one girl fiddling with the can inside her purse. The building was evacuated, and bishops argued with the Stake President how they would now report attendance because of budgetary issues.

    Having been one of the hundreds maced in this incident, I kind of wonder how effective those sorts of deterrents are. They could always be turned against the victim and make things worse for her/him. She could wind up dead even, if the deterrent was a gun or a knife.

    Our laws on rape need to include the death penalty for those who are serial rapists or rape young children. I just hope the Supreme Court upholds the one capital punishment rape case that is before them right now, and that other states put similar laws on the books.

    400 is a bit hard for me to swallow. I too wonder where that number comes from. There is quite a few that aren't reported, but I pray that number is no where near 400.

  • Pray for Provo.
    Jan. 27, 2008 11:05 a.m.

    It's better to DIE than lose your virginity?

    Yes Provo, and the Earth is flat (and only 6000 years old), evolution doesn't exist, women shouldn't be allowed to vote, blacks don't deserve the priesthood,
    and the Easter Bunny is real.

  • Daughters
    Jan. 27, 2008 10:48 a.m.

    who cares about the numbers...this is hell to any amount of women. One raises and nurtures the ladies then something evil comes this way. Take precaution as these evil doers are becomming more sophisticated and lack any compassion. Don't be so Naive!

  • Estimates
    Jan. 27, 2008 10:39 a.m.

    The article said that only about 40 of an estimated 400 rapes in Provo were reported. I don't mean to sound like a skeptic, but how do they get to that number of 400? Is it based on the national average?

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 27, 2008 10:33 a.m.

    I can understand why these girls say they wish they had not lived. Even though everyone knows they did nothing wrong, how could you feel anything BUT unclean after someone does such an awful thing to you? There is nothing wrong with these girls feeling this way.
    Frankly, if they felt fine afterwards, I would be MORE worried about them.
    There is nothing wrong with our society if these girls feel like this, they just need love and support by those who truly care about them. That is where we run into trouble, with the loved ones not acting appropriately after the fact. The burden is on the family and friends of these girls to help them know they still are pure.

  • Wendy
    Jan. 27, 2008 10:07 a.m.

    Rapes (especially date rape) are not reported in Utah because everybody is so judgmental and blames the victim! I was raped. But victims of rape in Utah are accused of wearing immodest clothing, or not following the spirit and going places they should not be, or not listening to the still small voice tell them when a guy is a bad guy, etc. I was horrified by how I was treated after the attack.

  • Tumbleweed Tom
    Jan. 27, 2008 9:16 a.m.

    What's wrong with telling women to train to carry a Taser, knife, gun or other weapon to protect them from the Hell the girls described in this article are going through?

  • Joe Moe
    Jan. 27, 2008 9:01 a.m.

    This is terribly sad. But I wish they would explain how it is they estimate that 90% go unreported if they're, well, unreported.

  • Matt
    Jan. 27, 2008 8:53 a.m.

    Five or 6 years ago, someone showed me some Anti-Mormon literature that said rape was highest in Utah country than anywhere else in the nation.

    A friend explained it to me that it was most likely that reported rape was highest in Utah county because girls would go to their bishops if they were raped and he would encourage them to report it to the police, where as other communities a lot of rapes go unreported in other communities.

    This article dispels that theory. Can anyone comment on this? Is Utah county still one of the highest in the nation?

  • Matt
    Jan. 27, 2008 8:50 a.m.

    I don't understand why Mormon women feel that way. Girls, please know that you are the victim and I as a man would show an increased level of love and support if you were the victim of rape. I don't know anyone who would condemn you for being raped.

    Jan. 27, 2008 8:26 a.m.


  • Truth
    Jan. 27, 2008 8:16 a.m.

    Chastity and virginity are not the same. A rape victim does not lose chastity, which is the greatest virtue she/he can bring to her/his marriage. LDS men and women should understand this and not devalue themselves because of rape. They are still priceless children of God and are chaste.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 27, 2008 8:09 a.m.

    Educating young Women and Men regarding sexual matters (herpes,aids etc,) as well as offensive and defensive behaviours is a must in these times, to still have Young Women bearing the responsibility from Her Community/Family and feeling rage and frustration and fear because She's been taught not to respond to the authorities or let anyone know only sends a message to those so inclined to sexual violence, that this is a safe environment to persue thier actions...

  • Tragic
    Jan. 27, 2008 2:43 a.m.

    It is incredibly sad that someone could think they are unpure when they are raped. Purity has everything to do with your intent and desires, not what happens to you. If you had no impure desires or motives and someone raped you, how could you consider yourself impure? YOU are just as pure as before.

    I think this article is a representation of where we are as a society. It would be convenient to categorize rapists as just "monsters" because then we can separate ourselves from them easily, but if we really looked into it we would understand that they are just one step, albeit a VERY LARGE STEP, from a normal functioning person. The events that lead them to taking that large step is tragic.

    I will post an incredible quote after this that, I believe, shows a little into how a person can get to that point.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 27, 2008 2:35 a.m.

    she should have died before that happened to her? wow that really is so sad that she believes that like i felt terrible when i first read that. it is terrible to think that a man could do that to a woman.... it might sound cliche, but what is this world coming to?

  • I know
    Jan. 27, 2008 1:37 a.m.

    as growing up ...many were told something i could never understand ..that was confusing to me as a man ...better to die than to give it up..until i ended up saving three potential rape victums and saw the truma caused to the victum. It is a violent crime. The guy needs to pay everyday!

  • mlolmon
    Jan. 26, 2008 12:38 p.m.

    Well, that's messed up