015: Two Mormon Sexual Assault Experiences

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Podcast Description:

Natasha Helfer Parker interviews Colleen Payne Dietz and Alyson Bigelow Horrocks in regards to their experiences with sexual assault during their college years. In this time, when Brigham Young University is undergoing a lot of scrutiny about their policies and procedures when students report cases of sexual assault, these stories are so important to share. This podcast is co-produced with the Mormon Mental Health Podcast and is free of charge. It addresses such issues as: what are some typical ways that victims act during and after sexual assaults? What types of assault occur? What are some common misperceptions a general audience can make when hearing about sexual assault? What are some problematic ways that ecclesiastical leaders engage in inappropriate repentance processes during these times? What ramifications does this have for people’s journeys within Mormonism? How can Mormon beliefs be interpreted when sex abuse is occurring? How can leaders, friends and families be better equipped to deal with these types of situations?

Be aware that detailed information is shared in regards to the assaults that took place. Some who have experienced trauma of their own may find these conversations triggering and difficult to listen to.


Colleen Payne Dietz is a BYU-Utah alumni with a Bachelors in Psychology. She has enjoyed many years working in the field of Mental Health. She has recently discovered a new role as an adored wife and busy mother. Colleen and her husband dream of the rural homestead life, somewhere green and alive. Colleen is honored to be part of a movement to change the conversations about sex, and especially sexual assault, within the LDS Culture and make BYU a safer place.


Alyson Bigelow Horrocks attended BYU-Idaho for several years, is a writer, is married and a mother of 4.

Resources mentioned during podcast:

Healing from Sexual Abuse by Chieko Okazaki

How the Church Approaches Abuse – This page has been updated since it was re-released in February 2016 (Alyson refers to how the original article impacted her)

Roundtable: Abuse and Forgiveness with Tresa Edmunds and Natasha Helfer Parker

BYU-Utah Counseling Center

Other resources:

Helping Sexual Assualt Victims – Podcast with Donna Kelly

Rape Culture Alive and Well – blog post by Natasha Helfer Parker

News of BYU Policies are Triggering Me – blog post by Natasha Helfer Parker

Tea Consent Video (education tool for teaching about consent)

Thank you to Jeff Meyers for the intro and Peter & Mary Danzig of Otter Creek Duo for the concluding bumper music.


Natasha Helfer Parker, LCMFT, CST, CSTS can be reached at natashaparker.org and runs an online practice, Symmetry Solutions, which focuses on helping families and individuals with faith concerns, sexuality and mental health. She hosts the Mormon Mental Health and Mormon Sex Info Podcasts, is the current past president of the Mormon Mental Health Association and runs a sex education program, Sex Talk with Natasha. She has over 20 years of experience working with primarily an LDS/Mormon clientele.

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