062: Helping Sexual Assault Victims

donna_kelly_-_utah_-webNatasha Helfer Parker interviews Donna Kelly, a Utah state prosecutor who has expertise in trying cases dealing with sexual assault and domestic violence.  She has helped develop trauma-informed protocol to help law enforcement and other professionals address victims in appropriate, supportive ways and has been invited to offer trainings on a national level.  There are important implications from this interview that will apply to victims, to friends and family who want to offer support, ecclesiastical leaders, and anyone else who wants to better understand normative responses to trauma and how to respond correctly.  They also discuss issues and common themes that are unique within Mormon communities when it comes to dealing with sexual assault.

TRIGGER WARNING:  This interview does include short recountings of scenarios Donna Kelly describes regarding some of the cases she has worked on.

At the end of the interview Donna refers to an upcoming presentation which will be taking place on May 12, 2015 in West Valley, UT.  Here is some further information if you are interested in attending:  Join law enforcement, healthcare and legal professionals from around the state on May 12, 2015, for this no cost conference featuring national expert Dr. Rebecca Campbell, who will present on the Neurobiology of Sexual Assault Trauma. Dr. Campbell’s research is changing the way law enforcement officers and other professionals respond to sexual assault crimes and interact with assault victims. Learn more about yourself and your victims’ response to trauma with this is new information that can be used to investigate sexual assault and other traumatic crimes.

Utahns Helping Sexual Assualt Victims Nationwide

Start by Believing and West Valley City Police: Start by Believing

End Violence Against Women International

What To Do if You Were Raped

RAINN: Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network

What is Bystander Intervention Anyway?

The Neurobiology of Sexual Assault with Rebecca Campbell, PhD

Creating Trauma-Informed Congregations

Predators Among Us – Interview with Dr. Anna Salter

Elizabeth Smart Foundation

Many thanks to The Lower Lights for the beautiful bumper music and to Brian Dillman for audio production of this podcast.  Natasha Helfer Parker runs a private practice in Wichita, KS and writes at The Mormon Therapist for Patheos: Hosting the Conversation of Faith.

Donations to Mormon Mental Health are tax deductible and go directly to support the costs of producing the podcast.  If and when donations exceed these costs, they will go to support trainings, research, materials development, projects of the Mormon Mental Health Association and financial support for those who need help affording appropriate therapy services.


6 comments for “062: Helping Sexual Assault Victims

  1. April 16, 2015 at 8:29 am

    Question for Donna. What is being done to enable the person with a disability to report and get assistance. What about the deaf, blind, low vision, the autistic or developmentally disabled child or adult?

  2. Guest
    May 28, 2015 at 12:27 am

    One contributing factor for not reporting sex crimes is that there are covert messages that doing so would somehow be vindictive. When I talked to one bishop about my brother who had sexually abused me he said, “Well, the Spirit will work on him, so we don’t need to do anything there, but I am concerned that you have not forgiven him.” Another former bishop that I talked with stated, “You could go to the police station right now and report this as a crime, because it was a crime against you, but you are not that kind of person.” To add to the complexity of the situation, my abuser was someone that I care about and I do not want to see him in jail, but I also want what happened to be taken seriously, unfortunately, it is not going to be taken seriously on the church side of things. I agree that it is important to believe the victim, but we can’t stop there. I was believed, but it didn’t make much difference. I do believe however that this is a step in the right direction and I applaud Donna Kelly for her efforts!

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