In El Dorado nobody can hear you scream

They want to escape, but they can’t. (The article is from 2006.)

Police in the polygamous border towns of Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Ariz., say they’re seeing a number of teenagers who are fed up with the Fundamentalist LDS Church and leaving on their own…”One of the biggest problems that we have with the individuals that are wanting out is they’re underage and there’s not much we can do for them legally,” said Gary Engels, a special investigator for the Mohave County Attorney’s Office…[S]ervice providers cannot help them because they’re minors and runaways…”At HOPE, we follow the law and with a runaway we’ve got to call law enforcement and child and family services,” said HOPE director Elaine Tyler. “With the last two we’ve dealt with they’ve gone right back to their parents.”…While most of the teenagers who leave the border towns are not reported as runaways because their polygamous families do not want to attract government attention, it still becomes problematic to deliver services.

Their polygamous families do not want to attract government attention – why not, exactly? What a sinister ring that has.

In May [2006], Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. signed HB30 into law. It allows 16-and-17-year-olds to petition the juvenile courts for emancipation from their parents.

Good, good – but what about 15-year-olds? 14-year-olds?

Tyler said many children are waiting until they’re adults before coming to The HOPE Organization for help. “Some have come to us after they’ve turned 18 and then we’re able to help them. There was a girl who was living in a basement of another girl I was helping. She said ‘I was living in rags and I couldn’t tell you I was there,’ ” Tyler recalled. “It broke my heart.”

The Utah Department of Human Services has been considering changing laws and policies to help children leaving polygamy…Price said they need to move quickly to provide resources to teenagers leaving a closed society before they succumb to the temptations of the world.

What a mess.

And the ACLU joined the suit, siding with the parents – which I find horrifying. They’re defending the parents’ ‘rights’ to raise their children as prisoners kept away from any possibility of outside help. Why aren’t they defending the children’s rights instead? Why aren’t they worried about what’s going on behind those fences?

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