Reduce teen suicide by making the LDS Church safe from abuse for all children
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- Our goal is to prevent what happened to Samuel Bresee from happening to other children. Click here to learn about the damaging aggression Samuel experienced at church, which sparked his end of life decision.
With teen suicide nearly tripling in Utah since 2007, and with the LDS Church having the dominant social and policy voice in Utah, Mormon General Authorities must no longer stonewall discussion on this serious problem for their organization because of "Liability Concerns".
Great suffering is experienced daily by countless children, caused by the societal problem of abuse in the form of bullying. Each new study confirms the strong connections between bullying and mental health problems for the victim, harm that can last for their lifetime and possibly end in suicide. These same studies confirm higher adult incarceration rates for those who abused others as juveniles. Humanity will look back and wonder how we tolerated so many children to be abused daily for so long, and the societal damage that resulted from it.
Following the suicide death of their 14 year old son Samuel in June of 2014, they learned from his suicide notes (shown in video above) and other sources that abuse in the form of bullying at the LDS Church (AKA The Mormon Church) was the reason for his end of life decision. They believed that church leaders would address Samuel's abuse and then take corrective measures to ensure it never happened again. Instead, in their worst moment having just lost a son to suicide, they found evasion, even aggression from church leaders while seeking discussion on Samuel's abuse.
With their pain deepened by this aggression, they asked friends in the church why it was happening. They received the same answer over and over again, "Liability Concerns". They learned that aggression is a very common response from leaders of organizations when the parents of suicide victims want their child's abuse investigated, those involved corrected. Sadly, the advice of attorneys is guiding the discussion on how bullying is addressed, not elected or organizational leaders with the input of mental health experts.
Although open to one time 'We should just all be nice to each other' type of meetings and talks, LDS leaders evaded all discussions that might end with policy providing permanent protection for children by way of reoccurring instruction and/or correction for those abusing others.
The culture on how bullying is perceived and addressed will only be changed one person, one organization at a time. Please help The Stop It Foundation in its efforts to protect children from abuse by signing this petition asking LDS leaders to take a new direction on addressing bullying with common sense ideas like, reoccurring training on bullying awareness for adults who work with youth, reoccurring instruction for youth on the real damage caused by bullying, and meaningful correction for abusive individuals. See The Stop It Foundation Questionnaire for other suggestions on addressing bullying.
It really is about saving the next child's life, doing what was not done for Samuel and the many, many other victims.
“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer
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