Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Nonprofit holds fundraiser to help people leaving polygamous groups
First Published Jan 27 2012 11:18 pm • Last Updated Jan 27 2012 11:31 pm

Joseph Broadbent was 17 when he decided to leave his home in Hildale after years of beatings at home.

"I was so sick of my dad, I just couldn’t take it anymore," he said. He worked welding jobs, but when the work dried up, he found he needed something else — a high school diploma. Broadbent, now 23, had gone to the group’s private priesthood schools until about age 14, when he said he left to work for his father.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

For help with GED classes and paying for gas, he turned to Holding out Help, a Salt Lake City-based nonprofit for people leaving polygamous groups. The nonprofit provides mentoring, housing and some financial support to people leaving polygamous groups.

The group held a fundraiser Friday at the Park City home of volunteer Don Mealing. The organization has seen its numbers grow significantly in the past year as dozens of people have been excommunicated from the state’s largest polygamous sect, Warren Jeffs-led Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Holding out Help now works with about 200 people, and expects that to grow to 250 this year, said executive director Tonia Tewell.

Several well-known names in the recent story of polygamy in Utah spoke at the event, including author Jon Krakauer, private investigator Sam Brower, author and ex-FLDS member Carolyn Jessop, and several young former members of the FLDS.

What sets apart Holding out Help is its willingness to work with families who are loyal to Jeffs, said Elissa Wall, who was married at age 14 to her 19-year-old cousin. Her case led to accomplice-to-rape charges against Jeffs.

"They are creating a relationship within this community, which has never been done before," she said, which means more people feel comfortable seeking help.

Jessop described her own "giant learning curve" of trying to acclimate into mainstream society.

Some people recently out of the group "do not have the basic skills I try to instill in my children, just making small choices [like] at the grocery store: do you want this or do you want that?"

The fundraiser drew about 130 people.

story continues below
story continues below

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.