Eliza’s Story – Molested By Father, Told To Wear Less Revealing Clothing

Names changed for privacy.

Story shared at this link. Please share your story here as well: https://forms.gle/D9d2gF5R3PZs9fRk6

The Abuse

My abuser was my father, who was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The first instance of abuse was sleeping in his bed as a little girl. I don’t remember the first time this happened but it had to be about 5 years old and plenty of times before.

Often times my mom would sleep in our bedroom on the floor and my dad would sleep in his room alone. My dad would always wake me up late at night and tell me he was lonely.

I hated waking up to go sleep with him but I felt so bad that he was so sad and alone. He always told me I was his favorite and I felt like it was my duty to be loyal and always do what he wanted so I could always be the favorite.

He never slept with any clothes or underwear on and wrapped his legs around me with his penis pressed right up against my underwear. I felt hot and the weight of him was heavy. I was uncomfortable but pretended to sleep because I was nervous about disappointing him.

The worst instance of abuse that I remember was being forced to take a shower with him and him washing my vagina aggressively with a bar of soap. I was 7 years old. I cried in the beginning and told him it hurt. His feelings seemed hurt when I did that and he was sad. I didn’t want to make him sad anymore so I tried my best to be quiet until it was over.

The last time I was abused by my father was 7 years ago. I moved out on my own at the age of 18.

My dad frequently made comments about my cleavage being too much or too revealing in the clothes that I picked or that my track shorts were too short but only if I wore them in public. At home if I wore those things he would just watch me.

There was a picture that was posted on Facebook of me on Splash Mountain at Disneyland and my cleavage was “too revealing” and he had me take it down. But he saved it on his phone and would zoom in to look at it over and over.

Telling Church Leadership

My dad was and still is in good standing with the church and was very good friends with our bishop at the time.

I did go to that bishop for help several times and he told me that he KNEW I was doing things I shouldn’t be and that I needed to repent of those things first to be happy. And that I needed to challenge myself to dress more modestly to prevent things from happening.

The morning I moved out, my bishop and him were waiting for me in the driveway after they both had several interventions with me about the way I dressed and acted to “provoke boys.”

I remember feeling so defeated that my bishop had such a bias to my dad because I spent years trying to ask him for help to escape my abuse only to learn that all of it must’ve been my fault because I have a body with boobs and didn’t protect the “boy brain” of my father.

I’m not sure if my father was ever informed of my accusations. No Church disciplinary action was taken against my father.

I do not feel like the Church took my story seriously or sought justice for me.

The Damage

The abuse has cost me years of religious trauma, nightmares, flashbacks, the inability to focus and sometimes enjoy a sex life with my husband, hyper activity in public around other men, anxiety over the safety of my children.

I have been going to therapy for years and have spent thousands of dollars over the years.

I was offered therapy through LDS Family Services, but I was counseled to pray more, follow the commandments better, to read my scriptures, and have more faith that it happened for a reason. I do not see a therapist through LDS services anymore because I felt that was putting the responsibility of the abuse on me and I refused to believe that anymore than I already had.

I feel safe physically, most of the time. However, I am triggered by some simple things like being approached from behind, being followed too closely, men speaking over me, church buildings, priesthood holders making decisions about my family without my consent, etc.

I believe the healing will never end and it will be a process I unfold over and over, forever.

What We Can Do

This kind of thing MUST STOP.

Abuse survivors need to be supported PROFESSIONALLY through this terrible process.

Members of the Church often go first to their Church leaders when in trouble. As good as many of these men are, they often do not know what to do in situations like this.

Abused members need a safe number to call to get legal and therapeutic resources. And they need a way to be offered the chance to bring their abusers to legal and Church justice.

Abuse survivors need help, support and an opportunity for justice.

Abusers need to be identified and appropriately disciplined.

To help create this system, please sign this petition: https://www.change.org/stopldsabuse

Please Share Your Story

If you have a story where you were abused, reported it to Church leaders, and did not receive appropriate support or justice…

PLEASE CLICK HERE to share your story.

I know it’s scary to share it.

Every person who has shared so far has been scared to share. But they did it anyway.

And they did it as ANONYMOUSLY as they wanted.

People will doubt it.

People will question your actions.

Some people will make you feel like the “bad guy.”


If it keeps getting pushed under the rug, change will not happen. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or anywhere else.

They might ignore your story. But they can’t ignore hundreds or thousands of stories.

For every one person who shares their story, there are MANY more who are silently saying “me too.”

When you share yours, you empower someone else to share theirs and move towards healing.

The more voices that stand up and share their story, the bigger difference we can make.

CLICK HERE to share your story.

And let’s make The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the safest place on earth for survivors of abuse.

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