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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Sexting - Part 1

[Readers:  The following letter is part of a series we're running Saturday's this month from a reader dealing with a problem with Sexting.  This is part 1 of 4. - Bro Jo]

Bro Jo,

There is this boy at school, whom I have never made it seem like it was okay to do such things, who keeps texting me with sexual intent and I always try to ask him to stop and explain my standards to him but he really just doesn’t get it.

For a few weeks it stopped but this boy smokes Marijuana and tonight he got high and sent me a picture of his, with lack of better terms, body part down below. I was in karate when he sent this picture and I never asked for this picture and I looked at it for a split second until I realized what it was and as soon as I did I deleted it right away.

I felt no sexual arrousement what so ever from this photo and I got very upset at him for sending it. Should I tell my bishop about this happening?

For conversation's sake, I just finished my repentance process because I had intercourse with one of my ex-boyfriends. I wasn’t even able to take the sacrament again due to the weather conditions where I am from so I am kind of freaking out about this whole situation because I am worried that I am going to have to refrain from the sacrament even longer then I already have.

- Name Withheld

P.S. Oh boy, gotta love when leaders are right.

Dear NW,

OK, I'm seeing two issues here.

Let's deal with the Sexting first.

First of all, believe me, he "gets" it. He knows what he's doing more than you think. He's simultaneously attacking your standards and trying to (in a very bad and ineffective way) get you to like him (haven't I said before that boys are dumb?).

The first time he sent you a Sext was sexual harassment, at best; every time he's sent you something since you told him to stop is sexual abuse. As awful as it may sound, you probably shouldn't have deleted the penis photo; it was your bet evidence against him.

If you have any other evidence (or witnesses) you need to get that collected.

People need to know.



Your Bishop is a Good Choice, especially if this young man is in your ward. But before that you need to tell your parents. You need adult help and authority to deal with this stuff.

How is your relationship with them?

Can you ask them for help without them freaking out?

If you honestly feel that they may not deal with all of this rationally, then you need to go to your Bishop first (he can help you involve your parents if needed); or you can consider your Young Women leaders.

And you need to be prepared to go to the police. That includes writing down (not just in your head, but actually on paper) everything that has transpired between the two of you that you can remember. Be as specific as possible. Dates, times, witnesses, as much as you can remember.

I'm not kidding and I'm not being over dramatic here.

What this boy is doing is a form of sexual assault, and it's illegal. No one should have to deal with this kind of harassment.

So I need you to tell someone. Right now. Today. An adult someone, not just your pals.

Please don't delay.

Timeliness will help with your creditability, and you may have to deal with accusations that you've enticed or encouraged this boy (that's another reason to preserve and gather evidence) and his behavior. I believe you, and others will too, but some may really struggle wrapping their heads around this situation because in their world it's so bizarre.

The one thing you should definitely NOT do is to communicate with this boy in any way.

(One that you need to consider, and may have to be prepared to address is that, while it was his phone, it may not have been his "part"; could have been a JPEG he found or someone else.)

Keep me posted on this and, I'm not kidding, if you need my help in any way, including help with the adults you need to talk to, let me know. I don't mess around when it comes to protecting my little sisters.


Secondly, I want you to know how proud I am of you for having the courage and faith to take advantage of the atonement of our Savior and repent of that which needed repenting. I also want to thank you for sharing your testimony (whether you realized you did or not) of the value of partaking of the sacrament regularly; good for you!

Don't freak out; the Lord always knows of the intentions of our hearts.

(You know, if the weather and traveling conditions don't get better by this next Sunday, that you can ask the Bishop to authorize the Sacrament to be brought to you! He can either send some Priesthood Holders to your home or give permission to those that live within your home. Sister Jo gave birth a couple times on a Sunday. She didn't want to miss the Sacrament, but didn't feel like having people come visit, either. I called the Bishop and he gave me permission to bless and serve the Sacrament to us both. Cool, eh?)

- Bro Jo

1 comment:

Amanda said...

Wow! This is such a testimony builder for me. I completely understand where she is coming from (on the repentence thing), it's so hard to make it through the week without partaking of the sacrament!

I don't know your name, Sister, but I've been in your shoes too. It was my ex-boyfriend who kept trying to text me, and IM me, and post things on my facebook (and texted me pictures I feel your pain). I was still very new in the church so I wasn't as proactive about it as you have been (way to go!), but I did realize eventually that it had to stop. I told him to stop, and things slowed down, but it took months of me just ignoring him for him to finally get the picture (no pun intended :P)that I didn't want it.

I agree with Bro Jo; get adult help. I was 20 years old when it happened to me and I still felt like I couldn't handle it. I know your kind heart doesn't want to hurt this boy because he's your friend, but you have to protect yourself. This is a constant source of temptation that is just going to make it harder for you to get back to where you need to be. 99% of the time you will not feel the slightest inclination to act on it, but Satan doesn't work like that. He waits for that one time when you are feeling weak to strike. DO NOT give him the opportunity. You are a beloved daughter of Heavenly Father, and He knows what is truly in your heart. He loves you so very much, and is just waiting to help you through this.

Stay strong, Sister!