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Flora Jessop is a former member -- and current critic -- of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS).
Flora Jessop was raised in the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS), a group that long ago broke its ties with the Mormon Church, and under FLDS rules, she was forced to marry her older cousin when she was sixteen. The marriage proved to be the final straw.
Jessop said she didn’t run away from Colorado City, AZ because of religion, but because of abuse. She says that she was sexually abused in her home, beginning at age 13. But, she was strong-willed and wasn’t about to submit. So, Flora took the unheard of action (at least at that time and in that place) of taking her alleged abuser to court.
When a St. George, UT judge dismissed the charges, Flora says she was returned to Colorado City where she was kept a prisoner in her uncle’s home for the next four years.
Jessop’s escape was made good at the age of 18, and she stayed on the run for several years, convinced that she was being pursued by church leaders. Finally, she was able to move on with her life, even marry and start a family, but she never forgot what happened to her in Colorado City and agonized over the thought of other young girls having to live as she did.
That’s when Jessop became an activist. She launched a group called the Child Protection Project through which she worked to educate the public about the horrors of polygamy. She also began helping girls escape from the FLDS.
- Source: Who is Flora Jessop and why is she coming to Eldorado? The Eldorado Success, USA, Mar. 25, 2004
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