Flora Jessop - Biography

Biography

Jessop grew up in Colorado City, Arizona. She was raised in a polygamous family, with two mothers and twenty-seven siblings, all members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS). When she was sixteen years old, after years of abuse including being impregnated by her own father and being forced to marry her first cousin Phillip Jessop, she fled her family and faith. After many years as a vagabond in Middle and Southwest America, Jessop gave birth to her first child, a daughter named Shauna. She moved to Phoenix, Arizona where, shortly after, she met a man named Tim and created a familial unit, along with their two daughters, Shauna and Megan. Tim's mother, Carol, would eventually reintroduce Jessop to Christianity. Jessop's divorce from her cousin, Philip, was finalized in 1995.

In February 2001, Jessop and Tim married at the Church of the Valley in Phoenix, Arizona. In April 2001, her younger sister, Ruby, was forced into an unwanted marriage to her step brother, Haven Barlow. The ceremony was officiated by Warren Jeffs; this event would be the catalyst that would turn Jessop into an advocate against child abuse in the FLDS community. She helped, in a large part, to create the Child Protection Project.

She is the cousin, by marriage, of Carolyn Jessop, another former FLDS member who wrote Escape, an autobiographical account of her upbringing in the polygamist sect and later flight from that community.

She has been active since the early 2000s in anti child abuse work particularly focusing on the plight of women and children in the FLDS. She founded an organization, "Help the Child Brides" (later dissolved) and later joined "Child Protection Project" with fellow activist Linda Walker.

Read more about this topic:  Flora Jessop

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