Former child bride talks to abuse officials

April 2, 2009 10:24:08 AM PDT
Saturday marks the one-year anniversary of the raid on the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints compound in west Texas. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Hundreds of children were taken into custody after authorities received an anonymous tip about abuse. That tip proved to be a hoax and Children's Protective Service officials have taken a lot of heat over their handling of the case.

Today, two former FLDS child brides are at the DePelchin Children's Center in Houston for a training session hosted by Harris County's Child Abuse Task Force.

We spoke this morning with one of them, Elissa Wall. She left the group, but says she still has relatives in the Eldorado compound.

The children were removed from the compound after allegations of abuse and that some might be child brides. It was a huge undertaking for the state's child welfare system. Some of them were brought as far as Harris County to stay during the investigation.

Wall testified against former FLDS leader, Warren Jeffs, and she's here to talk to the Harris County Child Abuse Task Force about the issue.

"My reason for speaking here today is to educate, to bring clarity to people of this environment," she said. "To let them know the place I came from, to let them know about the FLDS so that they have better tools to deal with the people of Eldorado, Texas."

As for her life outside of the FLDS, Wall is married of her own free will and has three children. The group will also hear from Flora Jessup.

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