Our mission is to connect individuals who have left polygamy to resources in their communities and provide assistance for their journey to the outside world. We award scholarshipsfor education toward a GED up to a bachelor level degree, including trade-skill certificates. We believe education is a key difference in helping those from polygamy toward a successful self-sufficient future. Hope After Polygamy is founded by women who left polygamy and have firsthand experiences of the barriers faced by those transitioning out.
YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS GIVE HOPE TO THOSE WHO HAVE LEFT POLYGAMY
Child trafficking is the illegal movement of children, typically for the purposes of forced labor or sexual exploitation (Erase Child Trafficking). For this article we will focus on forced child labor in the context of modern day slavery that takes place in the Kingston polygamous group.
Many children begin working before 10 years-old for one of the various Kingston ran businesses. This practice began when the Kingston group first started as the Davis Cooperative Society (DCS) in 1935. The Kingston group gets away with this practice by the claiming that children are "working" for family owned businesses. However, the hours and responsibilities these children took on at these businesses surpass the legal allowance for children "working" at family owned business.
Michelle Michaels is a strong-minded woman raised in the Kingston Order, with a very unique story. Michelle was one of the fortunate girls allowed to receive an education. However, many people in polygamy, especially women, do not earn an education without stipulations. Michelle was no different. Like most of the Order children, she attended the Order's school, Ensign Learning Center, for her elementary years. She was taught only by school teachers who are members of the Order community. She attended school with other children from polygamy. Michelle recalls knowing for years that she would leave the Order if "things did not change" when she became older. She kept her head down, avoided whatever punishments she could, and observed the world around her, figuring out how she could survive. Michelle was further blessed to pursue her college education without having to be married; however, this came at a cost. She was not allowed to pursue the degree and education she desired for her own career. In fact, she remembers her father telling her that her dreams of becoming a school math teacher were “stupid” and “would not help advance the Order.”
Representative Walt Brooks presented H.B. 343 to lawmakers in the 2018 Utah legislative session with intention to amend the youth and child welfare laws, and succeeded with a unanimous vote in the House (Davidson & Carlisle, 2018). There have been speculation that these amendments singled out a specific religious group, but they do not single out any specific religious or cultural group. Instead, they protect ALL children in Utah, regardless of their religious or cultural group. Brooks was quoted saying, “We’re a family-friendly state, so we want them to be with families, but not if the family is going to hurt them”(Associated Press, 2018).