Things to know

Regularly read by 50,000+ readers in over 140 countries around the world, "Dear Bro Jo" is published several times a month.

This is column is just one guy's opinion, and while he does his best to keep what he thinks, says and writes in-line with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, "Dear Bro Jo" is not an LDS Church website. (And Sister Jo thinks you should know that he's sometimes wrong, and often way too opinionated for his own good.)

Nothing here is meant to take the place of talking with parents, leaders, or Church authorities. Please, if you need serious help, talk to a trusted adult, leader, and / or professional counselor.

Please like our Facebook page, and check it often for Discussions, Notes, Events and just General Good Stuff!

Everything here is copyrighted. If you're going to quote any part of anything here, please get Bro Jo's written permission. You can reach him at

Friday, October 11, 2013

Dealing with Rape - Part 2 - Recovering with the Help of the Savior


What follows is Part 2 in a series of posts about a very serious and very sensitive subject.  These emails were sent to me quite a while ago.  Now that enough time has passed it seems appropriate to share them.  I am doing so with the original writer's permission.  She is doing well, and hopes that others in the same situation can learn from this trial she has had to endure.

Rape is a Violent Crime.

If you have been, or suspect you may have been, the victim of rape, regardless of your age, sex, situation, location, or the identity of your attacker, I want you to know that it's not your fault.

It never is.

I plead with you to get help from a trusted relative, authority, friend, crisis center or counselor.  If at first you don't get the help you need, please don't give up trying.

And, most importantly, I want you to know that I know that the Savior Loves You, that you have Value as a Child of God, that you can survive this ordeal, that you can heal and be whole and live a great and wonderful life.

I love you, and I know that Jesus and Heavenly Father do as well.

- Bro Jo]

Dear Bro Jo,

My story made me cry a little too.

But I also feel like I have grown up a lot because of it.

I also feel I have grown closer to my Heavenly Father.

I feel like I would rely on him more to help me through hard things. Instead of just try to do it on my own.

Honestly, yeah I want to hit "Bob" with a truck.

But I really want to hit his dad with a truck.

His dad said "son you are a race horse, she is the finish line. You need to cross the finish line".

Who plants those ideas in their child's head!?

And who helps set it up?

It's sick and wrong!

No, you didn't have the answer a wanted to hear . . .

But I don't know what I want to hear.

I usually don't want to say the Bishop is wrong . . .

But in this case the last thing I needed to hear is that I chose for this to happen to me.

Because I would never *choose* to be hurt like that!

And I would never make anyone else have that same sort of pain.

I have many friends who have similar stories.

It makes me sick.

I'm just grateful I have the gospel in my life to help me with it.

Thank you for always responding so quickly. I love your blog

- Not Satisfied

Dear NS,

Sadly, too many pathetic parents plant seeds like that.

While I have no pity for "Bob", you're right in that no one wakes up one day and says "I'm tired of being a Good Guy, I think I'm going to violently assault and rape a girl today"; something has to lead to the behavior . . . and I'll bet a good look needs to be taken at his father.

Bishops are fallible just like the rest of us, and from what you've told me, I agree that he was totally wrong.

Tough job: Bishop.

No doubt this whole thing freaked him out.

But he was wrong to say what he said; this was not your fault.

When I hear about "many friends having similar stories" I get pretty concerned; I'm a strong advocate of self-defense courses; I think they need to be annual (or semi-annual) activities for Young Women.

I think your vomiting move was genius.

You showed real presence of mind in a very tough situation.

Puking is part of what Sister Jo recommends to girls if they find themselves in similar situations.

Puking and peeing . . .


I'm glad you have the Gospel in your life, too.

I can't think of a better tool for facing such adversity.

I won't ever publish these emails without you’re okay.

I certainly could help some girls, but I think your privacy is important, too.

I can testify to you that time, and the love of the Savior, makes all pain easier to live with.

- Bro Jo


Anonymous said...

Why is sometimes the hardest question. My answer almost 20 years ago was because sometimes God uses something bad to gain evidence against an individual or family. We cannot see everything so we have to wait for God to deal justly with everyone involved. Look to Elizabeth Smart for an example of courage and strength. You are not defined by this one moment and you also can find happiness. Hold on to your best characteristics and be wise. My friend loved running and I wanted her to hold on to that and she did:) Never let a bad experience stop you from being you. Best of luck on healing.

Christina Leavitt said...

Speaking of Elizabeth Smart, she just released a book about her experience called "My Story." I think she may have done it in part to get people to stop asking her for details, but she writes a very tasteful memoir and includes the lessons she's taken from her trials. I've read it and thought it was good.

I agree with Bro Jo about self defense. Martial arts not about hurting people, its about protecting yourself. It's about gaining the confidence and training to deal with any unexpected situation. I am a first degree black belt now and I feel confident that I could assess a situation and be able to deal with it appropriately. By the 13th degree, I could probably take out a squad of ninjas with just my thumb. Humor intended...but seriously though...

My dojo offers a version of our art (Sanjurui) called "Fight Like a Chick." It was put together by one of our Senseis. He designed it specifically for women to use against rapists and aggressors. By that I mean he took the whole wealth of knowledge and narrowed it down to those specific circumstances. As awesome as it would be, women don't walk around parking lots with swords, but they do have keys.

He was inspired because he came from a rough life. He had often wished that his mother had, had the ability to defend herself.

He travels to teach these seminars, he's a particular favorite at safe houses. A pretty sweet, humble, and sincere guy.

This is a video he made to advertise and showcases some of the moves.