In the fallout of the news that former White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter was physically violent to both his ex-wives, some have begun to question the wisdom of LDS Bishops counseling women in abusive relationships (reports indicate both women were encouraged to stay with their husbands). Working with women in private practice, I’ve heard of this kind of thing happening. It’s embarrassing, it’s infuriating, and it’s my hope that this cultural moment of awareness and the #MeToo movement can spark social change. I shared some of my thoughts on this subject with KUER news.
The main idea I expressed is that Bishops need to understand their own limitations. They are the spiritual leader of a ward, but they are usually not an expert in specific fields. Abuse is not a spiritual problem, and it’s much more than even a marriage problem. It is a crime with deep psychological repercussions, and it needs to be dealt with as such. I would like to see Bishops receive more training on how to best respond to women disclosing to them, which would include teaching them how to best refer families for professional help (counseling, legal proceedings, etc).
Read the full article here.