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The following is excerpted from the Deseret News. To read the full article, click here.
The LDS Church’s First Presidency announced significant policy changes Monday, providing direction on how bishops and stake presidencies may conduct interviews with women and children and how they counsel victims of abuse and sexual abuse.
The changes specified that children, youth and women now may invite an adult to join them in what traditionally have been personal interviews. Some had said they were uncomfortable being interviewed one-on-one by a male priesthood leader.
The First Presidency also clarified to members of bishoprics and stake presidencies how they should respond to reports of sexual abuse and how to minister in those situations. The changes explicitly state that local leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints should never disregard a report of abuse and should never encourage members to remain in an abusive situation.
“To ensure the safety and protection of children, youth and adults, we ask that all priesthood and auxiliary leaders become familiar with existing church policies and guidelines on preventing and responding to abuse,” stated the letter, which was signed by church President Russell M. Nelson and his counselors, President Dallin H. Oaks and President Henry B. Eyring.
To read the full article, click here.