Episode 46: Mormons and Domestic Abuse


Join Lindsay as she interviews Domestic Violence expert and advocate Meghan Raynes about domestic abuse within the Mormon culture and how we are taught as Mormons to process it. Please share this important information to everyone you know.
Click here to listen to Episode 15 on Domestic Violence and the power and control wheel.

If you are a victim of abuse or need more resources, Call the Domestic Violence hotline.


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4 Replies to “Episode 46: Mormons and Domestic Abuse”

  1. I talked to my husband about this last night, and while he agrees that it is wrong to yell at, swear at, or hit a spouse, he will not concede that it is wrong to do the same to a child, even an infant. This is very frightening to me. He’s not a physically violent person by nature, but he does get mean when he gets angry, and I’m just really bothered that he won’t agree that these things are wrong. We’re going to hash it out in counseling because if he won’t commit to nonviolence at home, the marriage is a bust.

    My own dad was the same, sadly. My mother talks about the one time he slapped her, how they were both shocked and he immediately apologized and never did it again. But he beat the crap out of some of my siblings, and she condoned that. If it’s wrong to do it to an adult it’s wrong to do it to a child. How can that be so hard to understand?

  2. I was raised in the Church and never was taught in any way, that abuse or suppression, from men to women or children, is excusable. I was taught from D&C 121, concerning unrighteous dominion and that a man loses his priesthood authority when he is abusive. My experience as a woman in the Church, as well as in my family, is how I learned respect, between men and women. Remember the words, “persuasion, long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—”? (D&C 121: 41-42) It is in the Church where I see women honored and valued by men, more so than what I see in society in general. Please do not assume that men in general dominate unrighteously, nor that the Church condones it. That is not true. The Church denounces unrighteousness in any form.

    1. I believe we said explicitly in this podcast that in general men do not dominate unrighteously. We also said the church institutionally condemns it. Did you listen to the podcast Brenda?

  3. I still enjoy working myself through the podcasts from 2011 till now, and would like to react often more, but didn’t do it. This time I react because it is such a good talk and Meghan does such a good job ! However, I left church in 1986 after I heard my stake president talking in a speech. A high person from Salt Lake City stood beside him while the stake president explained that he would never think so before or advise this way before, but now he understood that it is right for a woman to stay with an abusive man instead of divorcing from him. I was asthonished. As I wrote earlier I come from an abusive family and found the price the woman had to pay way too high and she wasn’t done any right, how could this stake president , with this high person from SLC beside him say such a thing. I turned to a sister whom I held high to see if she was shocked as well, but the sweetheart only kindly smiled back at me and I couldn’t read any frustration from her face, maybe she held it hidden behind her sweet smile, I don’t know. I felt so hurt I could no longer stay in church anymore, just knowing that the teachings would bring so much pain into women life whom were told to stay in an abusive relation. Now listening to this podcast about all those priesthoodholders as bishops who do so little to save the life of women whom are abused makes me think. My stakepresident said he formerly would never say such an advise but because this SLC person stood beside him he gave this agressive patriarchy advise, what had changed him in his thought toward this bad advise ? What do male assume as normall and acceptable that they can change toward an advise that is so harmfull for women whom are abused ? Maybe I have to ask him about it if he remember and see if this could bring some light on this deafness to help women who are so much in danger.

    I also wonder the next thing: they say Joseph was killed because of polygamy, I geuss he was killed because of many reasons for what he was accused for, but he was also killed before he could bring the priesthood to Relief Society. Now I wonder if that could be a substantial reason for his killing, too, since men didn’t want women to get these rights/rites. Now I learned about Masonry having no female departments here in Holland but long passed Joseph death. However there were masonry departments for daughters of masonry-males in Kirtland, so, it seems the masonry of Kirtland was ahead of the masonry here. However I wonder if church people considered Joseph to go too fast with also bringing the priesthood rights/rites to women and wanted him to stop doing so, and the killing got him from preventing to do so and solved this problem for the men against this developing situation. If they would have agreed about it, the forming of priesthood among women wouldn’t have stopped so suddenly as it did after his death. Instead of respecting female rights to have priesthood, their right was ignored and polygamy was rather underlined for Brighamites and luckely pushed aside by Community of Christ church.

    All these decisions to neglect women rights is part of the blindness of men in church to understand whom women are, and they don’t seem to understand females as daughters of God with all her beautiful talents and gifts, but rather offering her for the godhead of patriarchy, instead of honoring God’s light in her. (I hope my english is good enough to understand.)

    Having the sister smiling at me after such a terrible advise had come from the stake president, I wonder how deep words get into the minds, or how people allready assume such ideas that they are not even in shock when they hear such advise or keeps it hidden as not being alowed to go against it. It says a lot about how women are looked at, which makes clear how little is thought of women as people with autonomic rights and being talentful creative daughters of God for their own development, beside being a servent in the church. Women do have little understanding of themselves, and as feminists we know how difficult it is to undo our selves from harmfull thoughts that limit us self and keep us hidden in the shadow of patriarchy instead of standing shining bright in the light of our Heavenly Father and Mother.

    When I left church I asked Jesus what He thought of all that was done to women in the world, pointing out to all the women who were raped, facing unwanted motherhood and being in abusive relationships and discriminated by men. He said: ‘It was never meant to be this way.’ which was a great comfort for me, it was not Jesus wish women would be treated like that, it is how mortal men handle women unrighteously.

    But how can a church, whom claims to be Jesus Christ’s church, act in such way that is opposite to how Jesus has meant it ? Jesus was not deaf and blind for me when He comforted me and helped me out through all these years. How come men in church holding His priesthood could act so opposite of how Christ looks at women ? When is thinking in priestholders minds starting to work but even more starting to act in the way Jesus would. Being nice is not enough, Hitler was very nice to the people around him, still he was on top of an organisation that killed 6 million jews. Being nice to women in church is not giving women a righteous place in church. Many man whom are about to rape a woman are very nice and kind to her right before they act their job of harm and pain. So, acting gentle could also be used to be harmfull. Seeing female for the Daughters of God which they are asks a lot more from priesthoodholders in church than just smilingly keeping them on their place.

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