Warren Jeffs' Niece Speaks Out About Being Abused


Former FLDS church member Jerusha Jeffs says she is “feels a lot stronger now” that her testimony about the abuse she suffered by her uncle’s hand helped to send Warren Jeffs to prison.

Jeffs grew up in a Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (FLDS) family with three wives and nineteen brothers and sisters, where she says there was “never a dull moment.” She had what she called a “really great childhood,” except for, you know, being abused by her uncle. Jerusha managed to leave it all in her past until she was watching a documentary about boys escaping the FLDS church. Memories of her childhood came rushing back: “It just sent me right back to that day … remembering being hurt and it was gut-wrenching and I got up and I ran to the bathroom and started vomiting.”

Jerusha was in the second grade the first time she was called into the principal’s office. Having done nothing wrong, she wasn’t sure why she was there. Except the principal at her school was none other than her uncle, Warren Jeffs:

“Warren told me to come sit on his lap and I didn’t know why. He said, ‘You’re a special girl’ and that he would help me to go heaven. And he had a certain way of making me feel like I was special and he told me I’ll go to heaven if I, for sure, just don’t tell anybody.”

Jerusha kept her mouth shut about the rape for over two decades because you don’t speak out against Warren Jeffs in the FLDS community: “Nothing he ever did was wrong, ever.” She is now a mother and a nurse, and has escaped the FLDS church. She works with Holding Out Help, a ministry that guides others who have fled the FLDS life and helps matriculate them into life outside the church. She says she’s finally at peace now that she helped to “put the man who needed to be in prison, in prison.”

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