Stolen Innocence: My Story of Growing Up in a Polygamous Sect, Becoming a Teenage Bride, and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs

Stolen Innocence: My Story of Growing Up in a Polygamous Sect, Becoming a Teenage Bride, and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs by Elissa Wall, Lisa Pulitzer 0061628018 9780061628016
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In September 2007, a packed courtroom in St. George, Utah, sat hushed as Elissa Wall, the star witness against polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs, gave captivating testimony of how Jeffs forced her to marry her first cousin at age fourteen. This harrowing and vivid account proved to be the most compelling evidence against Jeffs, showing the harsh realities of this closed community and the lengths to which Jeffs went in order to control the sects women. Now, in this courageous memoir, Elissa Wall tells the incredible and inspirational story of how she emerged from the confines of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) and helped bring one of Americas most notorious criminals to justice. Offering a childs perspective on life in the FLDS, Wall discusses her tumultuous youth, explaining how her familys turbulent past intersected with her strong will and identified her as a girl who needed to be controlled through marriage. Detailing how Warren Jeffss influence over the church twisted its already rigid beliefs in dangerous new directions, Wall portrays the inescapable mind-set and unrelenting pressure that forced her to wed despite her repeated protests that she was too young. Once she was married, Walls childhood shattered as she was obligated to follow Jeffss directives and submit to her husband in mind, body, and soul. With little money and no knowledge of the outside world, she was trapped and forced to endure the pain and abuse of her loveless relationship, which eventually pushed her to spend nights sleeping in her truck rather than face the tormentor in her bed. Yet even in those bleak times, she retained a sliver of hope that one day she wouldfind a way out, and one snowy night that came in the form of a rugged stranger named Lamont Barlow. Their chance encounter set in motion a friendship and eventual romance that gave her the strength she needed to break free from her past and sever the chains of the church. But though she was out of the FLDS, Wall would still have to face Jeffs--this time in court. In Stolen Innocence, she delves into the difficult months on the outside that led her to come forward against him, working with prosecutors on one of the biggest criminal cases in Utahs history, so that other girls still inside the church might be spared her cruel fate. More than a tale of survival and freedom, Stolen Innocence is the story of one heroic woman who stood up for what was right and reclaimed her life.

Author: Elissa Wall, Lisa Pulitzer

Language: English

Binding: Hardcover

Pages: 448

Publisher: William Morrow

Publication Date: 2008-05-13


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