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Flora Jessop
Born in Hildale Utah

Biographical Statement

     I escaped from polygamy 15 years ago and now live in Phoenix,  Arizona with my husband and two children. I fought for my freedom, just as the children trapped today fight for their right to be free.
    After turning to DCFS for protection, I was sent back to the polygamy compound, into the cult I asked them to protect me from. I was severely punished for running away and spent the next three years in seclusion, held hostage by my uncle Fred Jessop, and kept from my siblings and even my mother. 
    In April, 2001, my fourteen year old little sister, Ruby, was married to her stepbrother, Haven Barlow. Ruby also had the courage to run away and sought her brothers help. After one week, she was returned to the polygamy compound and disappeared.
    When I contacted Utah authorities in DCFS and the Washington County Sheriff's Office for help to get my sister the protection she needed they agreed to help. They did not do so, however. After meeting with DCFS in St. George, where I was promised help for Ruby, I found they thwarted my efforts.
    After thirty five days, they finally met with Ruby but once again failed to enforce the child protection laws they are mandated to support.
         Ruby and I were both betrayed by the very system that is
responsible for protecting children from sexual abuse, physical abuse, mental abuse, statutory rape, coercion, and forced marriage. These rights are guaranteed to all children but those living inside polygamy remain unprotected.
    I have vowed to stop this injustice and am now focusing on demanding that a federal prosecutor be named to intervene on behalf of these neglected children.
    Both Utah and Arizona have repeatedly and long term failed to protect children in polygamy from abuses of all kinds. Ruby is a hostage. No one has seen or heard from her for ? days. Please help us publicize this travesty of justice.
         I am working with others to establish a foundation to help
children escape polygamy  so they can secure the rights all other citizens enjoy in this democracy.  These children need help completing their educations, finding homes, jobs and adjusting to a world they know little about.