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LDS Church Allocates Resources for Child Abuse Victims

courtesy Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women general president, presents a check to Susanne Mitchell, director of the Children’s Justice Centers in Salt Lake County. (April 28, 2016) ";

Leaders from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints met with child abuse prevention advocates Thursday and delivered two checks.

Sister Bonnie Oscarson, Young Women general president for the LDS Church presented a $100,000 donation to the National Children’s Alliance and $25,000 to support Utah Children’s Justice Centers.

Church officials declined an interview, but Tracy Tabet with the state Attorney General’s Office was there for the discussion. Tabet oversees 22 children’s advocacy centers in the state, where victims and their families go to report abuse and get access to resources.

“What I heard loud and clear was that they feel very strongly about that child feeling protected, and supported and believed, that that is their moral responsibility,” Tabet says. “Frankly, it is the moral responsibility of every human being to do that. So that was just one of the many reasons we are so encouraged by their involvement.”

Sister Oscarson said in a news release that the Church has put resources in place to help children who have been abused, including a 24-hour hotline that can put clergy leaders in touch with a counselor.

“I think it’s extremely significant. I really admire them for getting out in front of this,” says Mary Lucero, Executive Director of Prevent Child Abuse Utah. “I think it’s great that the Church is trying to provide the very best services possible to victims of abuse,” she says. “I’d like them to take one step further, and get into the business of prevention.

In Utah, sexual abuse is the most commonly reported form of child abuse.

Andrea Smardon is new at KUER, but she has worked in public broadcasting for more than a decade. Most recently, she worked as a reporter and news announcer for WGBH radio. While in Boston, she produced stories for Morning Edition, Marketplace Money, and The World. Her print work was published in The Boston Globe and Prior to that, she worked at Seattleââ
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