What Life Is Like After Leaving a Notorious Mormon Polygamist Sect
VICE meets three young women who explain why they left Warren Jeffs's Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and talk about the struggle to build a new life.
In 2011, Warren Jeffs, the leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), was sentenced to life in prison—plus 20 years—for sexually abusing two of his child brides. Jeffs led the FLDS church, which had splintered from mainstream Mormonism in order to continue to practice polygamy. Often times, girls as young as 12 were forced to marry older members.
On this episode of Profiles by VICE, we travel to Short Creek, the small, isolated community on the Utah-Arizona border where members of the FLDS live and practice their beliefs. There, three young women tell us why they left the polygamist sect, how they deal with PTSD in the aftermath of their traumatic situation, and how they're building a new life in the tiny border town.
For more on the FLDS, read: The Long Search for the Missing Child Brides of a Mormon Polygamist Sect