Child Abuse in Arizona and Utah Polygamous Families: An Argument in Favor of Strict and Broad Enforcement of Punishments for Polygamy-related Crimes Against Children
AbstractThis paper argues that stories about young girls running away from the polygamous communities of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Arizona, are evidence that the policies that are meant to protect children in polygamousfamilies are not working. This paper argues that while Utah state law enforcement and child welfare agencies have the authority to adequately protect children in the polygamous communities of Colorado City and Hildale, the stateâ€™s current policies do not allow agencies enough scope, range, or power to enforce the statutes. This paper also argues that the reason that public officials face political ramifications when attempting to enact such policy. Policies in place are ill-equipped to deal with the physical isolation of Colorado City and Hildale; the closed nature of the society; the large resources required to deal with polygamy-related crimes; the power of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saintsâ€™ leaders; and the apathy of the public in Utah and Arizona.
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