088: Two Mormon Sexual Assault Experiences

Natasha Helfer Parker interviews Colleen Payne Dietz and Alyson Bigelow Horrocks in regards to their experiences with sexual assault during their college years. In this time, 341064_2178443535311_1496341463_owhen Brigham Young University is undergoing a lot of scrutiny about their policies and procedures when students report cases of sexual assault, these stories are so important to share. This podcast is co-produced with the Mormon Sex Info Podcast. It addresses such issues as: What are some 12823273_10153509783111483_7186171317911321660_otypical ways that victims act during and after sexual assaults? What types of assault occur? What are some common misperceptions a general audience can make when hearing about sexual assault? What are some problematic ways that ecclesiastical leaders engage in inappropriate repentance processes during these times? What ramifications does this have for people’s journeys within Mormonism? How can Mormon beliefs be interpreted when sex abuse is occurring? How can leaders, friends and families be better equipped to deal with these types of situations?

Be aware that detailed information is shared in regards to the assaults that took place.  Some who have experienced trauma of their own may find these conversations triggering and difficult to listen to.

Colleen Payne Dietz is a BYU-Utah alumni with a Bachelors in Psychology. She has enjoyed many years working in the field of Mental Health. She has recently discovered a new role as an adored wife and busy mother. Colleen and her husband dream of the rural homestead life, somewhere green and alive. Colleen is honored to be part of a movement to change the conversations about sex, and especially sexual assault, within the LDS Culture and make BYU a safer place.

Alyson Bigelow Horrocks attended BYU-Idaho for several years, is a writer, is married and a mother of 4.

Resources mentioned during podcast:

Healing from Sexual Abuse by Chieko Okazaki

How the Church Approaches Abuse – This page has been updated since it was re-released in February 2016 (Alyson refers to how the original article impacted her)

Roundtable: Abuse and Forgiveness with Tresa Edmunds and Natasha Helfer Parker

BYU-Utah Counseling Center

Other resources:

Helping Sexual Assault Victims – Podcast with Donna Kelly

Rape Culture Alive and Well – blog post by Natasha Helfer Parker

News of BYU Policies are Triggering Me – blog post by Natasha Helfer Parker

Rape in Mormon Culture – Mormon Stories Podcast

Tea Consent Video (education tool for teaching about consent)


Many thanks to The Lower Lights for the beautiful bumper music.

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, and financial support for those who need help affording appropriate therapy services.

Natasha Helfer Parker, LCMFT, CST runs a private practice in Wichita, KS, writes at The Mormon Therapist for Patheos: Hosting the Conversation of Faith, runs Mormon Sex Info and is the current president for the Mormon Mental Health Association.



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