Hi everyone! My name is Stacey Kimball. I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and I am a victim of sexual assault. For my safety, Stacey Kimball is not my real name. I was in a terrible, manipulative relationship for 8 months this past year that was full of emotional abuse, and ended in sexual assault. My ex-boyfriend does not know that I am claiming sexual assault and I am not pressing charges. I have not talked to him ever since we broke up, and therefore want to remain anonymous to remain safe from him in case he ends up finding this blog. My purpose for making this blog is not to shame him, but to be a voice out there for the other women in the church (and outside of the church!) to feel that they are not alone in this world. Unfortunately, sexual assault happens to members of the church, and I want to be a voice out there for those girls who feel alone, ashamed, used, unsure of how to cope, or however else they might be dealing with this trauma. You are NOT alone. To read about my experience here is the link to My Story.
According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in three women and one in six men will experience some sort of sexual violence in their life. Nearly two-thirds of college students experience sexual harassment of some kind and 51.1% of female victims experience sexual abuse or rape by an intimate partner and 40.8% by acquaintances. The unfortunate fact is that members of the Church are not immune to these terrible acts.
The world is a scary place, but we are fortunate enough to have the gospel to help us get through this or any kind of trauma. I know this with certainty because it’s the only thing that truly has gotten me through my own healing process. It is frightening realizing that even men who are members of the Church do these things to women (or, though it’s less common, that women in the Church abuse men). Of course I need to clarify that not every Latter-day Saint man out there is like this, but I do want to help the women of the Church protect themselves from those few dangerous men who claim to be part of the Church, but entrap us with their manipulation or give into their sexual temptations and make us the unwilling victims of their struggles.
The guy I was in a relationship with was a returned missionary with a great family that was active in the Church. He would go to the temple and would often do sessions with me. It was extremely deceiving. Yet even with all of that, he still manipulated me, emotionally abused me, and sexually assaulted me several times at the end of our relationship. Master manipulators can manipulate ANYONE. You are not weak if you fall under the spell of a manipulator. They are very good at what they do and know how to get people to do exactly what they want.
Surprisingly, there really aren’t a lot of General Conference talks on the subject, or books at Deseret Book that are on this specific topic. There were topics on abuse or anxiety in general that were helpful, but there was nothing I could find that specifically related to my experience that could help me through how awful I was feeling. I decided that it was time to create my own blog to write out my experience to help other LDS women know that they are not alone and do not have to suffer alone. Every time I felt comfortable enough to open up to a close friend about what happened to me, sometimes they ended up having a similar experience in their past or were able to relate to me in some way.
Throughout this blog, I want to share with you my story, dating tips, tips to get through the bad anxiety days, stories from other survivors, and many other posts that I hope will help those out there that feel lost and alone right now.
The absolute best way for me to get through this traumatic experience and the PTSD is to talk to other survivors. If you have a story you would like to share, and/or would be okay with me posting to my blog (I can always change names to keep your privacy), or if you just need another survivor to talk to, PLEASE email me at email@example.com, or you can add me on Instagram @youstillhaveworth or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/stacey.kimball.984 . I know I mainly speak for women, but I am well aware that this can happen to men as well. I am always happy to speak for or to them as well! We are all in this together! Spread the word!
Disclaimer: I reserve the right to decide which stories I would like to share on my blog. I will post those stories that I feel would be helpful for others to hear, and will change the names or other minor details in the stories to protect the survivors if they so desire. I am not here to bash on any religion, but only here to help the victims of sexual abuse or any other trauma get through the healing process, and to promote using the church or whatever faith you practice, if you are not LDS, as a way to help you heal. I promise you it will get better, it just takes some time.