Even after four years, it’s the little things that still make Urban Stewart feel like an outsider.
“I’m 20 years old, I’ve never been on a sports team, and I’ve never done [anything] a kid would do. I’ve never been to a prom,” said Stewart.
Urban Stewart was one of countless young men banished from Colorado City; an FLDS (Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) community clouded by polygamy and corruption.
Their leader, Warren Jeffs, continues to head the church from prison where he’s serving a life sentence for sexually assaulting children.
“Every day is regulated what you do,” he said. “You go to their meetings, you go to work, you don’t talk to any outside influences and you just do what you’re told.”
Stewart’s mother was one of three wives. She married at 15 years old and had 10 children before she also escaped.
“She was born there, you know, her whole life she was taught to cover up, wear a dress, ‘you can’t have your hair down.’”
Now, Stewart is desperate to rescue his younger brothers and sisters who are still there. He fears they are not being educated, and that his sisters will be placed in polygamist marriages against their will.
“Even since I’ve left it’s [gotten] harder and harder, it’s turned even more into control and fear,” he said. “The biggest thing is to give them the chance to be a regular kid.”
Urban Stewart and his mother are trying to raise money for legal fees. They have set up a donation fund here.
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