There has been an ongoing problem within the Mormon church when it comes to the issue of rape and what the church considers chastity.
According to The Salt Lake City Tribune, the first verse Mormon girls are forced to study under the value of “virtue” is one that sounds a little like rape shaming.
The Personal Progress workbook quotes Moroni 9:9, which reads, “For behold, many of the daughters of the Lamanites have they taken prisoners; and after depriving them of that which was most dear and precious above all things, which is chastity and virtue…”
Writer Kristine Haglund waged a war against the LDS church to have the passage removed because “the chastity in which the Lord delights (Jacob 2) is not merely virginity, and cannot be taken away by another person, especially not by violence or abuse,” she wrote in 2013.
Today, the verse is finally gone. The move matches the LDS Church’s policy on sexual assault — as stated in the pamphlet, “For the Strength of Youth” — which declares that “victims of sexual abuse are not guilty of sin and do not need to repent,” spokesperson Eric Hawkins said.
Earlier this year, Brigham Young University made headlines when their honor code became a public relations disaster because female students complained the school was punishing rape victims. The Mormon-run university requires all students to sign the code of conduct, which demands “moral virtues encompassed in the gospel of Jesus Christ,” specifically valuing chastity, honesty and virtue.
But when one student reported that she was raped on campus, she says the honor code was used to punish her for not remaining chaste.
“You are being suspended from Brigham Young University because of your violation of the Honor Code including continued illegal drug use and consensual sex, effective immediately,” the letter read, according to The New York Times.
Rape is obviously not consensual sex, but female students said that to BYU it didn’t matter. One Utah County attorney had to battle with the college while he was trying a sexual assault case. The school wanted to put the same woman on trial for an honor code violation using the statement she gave to police after her attack. He asked the school to pause the investigation but the school refused.
An advisory council was formed to look at the problem after one student complained to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. The complaint brought on the federal investigation into BYU’s application of Title IX. BYU is expected to decide any day on how they’ll proceed, according to The Tribune.