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The Shocking Truth about Mandatory Reporting [Mormon Discussion: 390]

In this eye-opening episode of the Mormon Discussion podcast, host Bill Reel takes a brave and unexpected stance on a topic that has long been considered a cornerstone in the fight against abuse. In “The Shocking Truth about Mandatory Reporting,” Bill discloses a profound shift in his perspective after delving into extensive research on the subject. CONTENT WARNING: This episode may be difficult to hear for those who have been abused or help prevent and heal from abuse, as Bill grapples with a challenging realization. Before diving into the intricacies of his changed viewpoint, Bill wants to make it abundantly clear that he remains passionately committed to the cause of eradicating abuse in both the “Mormon” and “post-Mormon” communities. Join Bill Reel as he fearlessly explores the complexities surrounding mandatory reporting, challenging conventional wisdom and engaging listeners in a thought-provoking dialogue that aims to foster a safer and more informed community. Buckle up for an episode that confronts uncomfortable truths, encourages open conversation, and ultimately seeks to contribute to the ongoing efforts to create a safer environment for all.


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4 thoughts on “The Shocking Truth about Mandatory Reporting [Mormon Discussion: 390]”

  1. Hey Bill, I listened to your podcast this morning on mandatory reporting and had a few thoughts. I’ve read through the public square magazines as I’ve had someone send those to me recently as well. I also went through his footnotes and looked at the sources he was using. I do agree that universal mandatory reporting doesn’t seem to have the benefits that we all assumed it would and hoped it would. That being said, most of the data provided was based on physical abuse and mandatory reporting of that. Thus they would get many false positives as much of the neglect being reported doesn’t meet thresholds necessary for serious abuse that requires interventions. My problem with the public square articles is that Cunningham then extrapolates this data and applies it to the sexual abuse realm that I think most of us are concerned about with the recent headlines. I don’t think that is a legitimate use of the data. I don’t think there are any studies that delve into the consequences of mandatory reporting of sexual abuse only. But from my perspective currently, I think the data would show a different picture as this type of abuse wouldn’t have as many false positives. It would still discourage people from coming forward and getting help from ecclesiastical leaders, but it seems in the religious setting many of those cases don’t get reported anyway.

    I haven’t had the time to dig through the rest of your sources that were provided so maybe I’m missing more of the picture that I’m just not aware of yet. However, based on what I have seen, I’m fairly skeptical of the utility of the current data set on sexual abuse. I don’t know the answer and it doesn’t appear to be universal mandatory reporting, but I still think it could be mandatory sexual abuse reporting. I appreciate your willingness to seek truth regardless of whether it contradicts current assumptions and I strive for that as well. If my logic is flawed let me know. Hope this finds you well!


  2. Bill, I’m so surprised. I agree with you! You’ve opened my eyes and made me reflect! We went to our bishop to tell him about my dad. He had molested me for short time but had also molested my little sister for a time. Talking to the bishop was the beginning of us being released from the secret and started the divorce process of my parents. There was clearly no mandatory reporting… because they didn’t report it. They actually kind of just slapped him on the wrist. That’s a seperate issue clearly… but I can say with full clarity that if there had been mandatory reporting in place I would HAVE NEVER spoken up. It would’ve been too terrifying to fear what would happen next. I shudder to think of my mental health today if I was still keeping it all a secret. In a real sense, not having mandatory reporting saved my life. I’m shook.

    Thanks for all you do Bill!!! I appreciate your work so much.

  3. I truly appreciated this podcast. My thoughts on mandatory reporting have been seriously affected. My emotionally response in the past agreed with you. With this new information, I realized how easy it can be to overlook other important information…in fact not even to consider the other side to any issue .
    I will now be more diligent and investigate more thoroughly issues of concern that arise.
    Thank you for the example you have set to always search for truth

  4. Bill
    I hope you read this, although it may not make it difference for you

    I honestly cannot believe my ears when I heard you saying you don’t believe in mandatory reporting and even more surprising that you were stuck in that opinion, and could not be convinced otherwise

    I didn’t believe that you could be so deceived. I believe people have the right to their opinion, but when it is involving abuse and protecting abusers, it is not just your opinion.

    The truth must come out the truth must be told, and the same for abuse, whatever the consequences maybe !! our motto–, the Truth must be told. I thought this was your motto as well.

    It is keeping the abuse secret and hidden that has hurt people more than anything. I hope in someway you come to see reality about this, you’re helping the perpetrators by helping to keep their secret, …. I think it is despicable

    .. I am deeply disappointed in you,
    ….and to be honest it has changed the way I will see and hear you in the future.

    The truth must be told

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