The A&E Network series “Escaping Polygamy” is very much a reality based series that takes us on a journey of what it is like to be trapped inside of a polygamist lifestyle as well as showing the damaging effects that it has upon the lives of those who escape, and attempt to have a normal life on the outside. It is an honest attempt to warn the world about the dangers for those who find themselves on the inside.
Here are five things that you didn’t know about the show.
1. Escaping is difficult
Yolanda Barlow knew that it would be hard to get away from the situation that she was in with the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She had spent the whole of her life, from birth to the time she decided to leave in the organization. She had dressed as she was instructed to by the members of the church and she had also lived her life in accordance with their rules. Leaving meant that she would need to change her life and that she would no longer have the support of the people who once surrounded her. They don’t take kindly to people leaving the fold and they spare no effort to keep them securely entrenched in the doctrine.
2. Life on the outside can be much harder
Yolanda shared that once she was out in the world, it took a while to adapt. There was a lot that she had to learn, and socializing with non-church members was one of them. Being shy and reserved didn’t help her in finding a job and fitting in with the new people who were all around her. Life on the outside was a total shock to her. She changed her style of dress and over time learned how to fit in better with others, but it was a definite challenge.
3. It shows us the ugly truth about the practices of the Kingston Clan
The show doesn’t openly condemn the practice of polygamy in all situations, but it does target what is happening in the Kingston Clan. Incest and criminal abuse is rampant. Being forced to marry a relative is not something that should ever happen to anyone, particularly an eight year old child.
The brainwashing that goes on is so extreme, that parents actually enter into contracts with other adult males or families to give their children in marriage. The daughters have no say in who they will marry, and there are usually other wives that have already been married to men who may be decades older. They violate the laws of the land but attempt to keep it hidden from law enforcement. Members of their religion are not allowed to talk to anyone who is outside of their faith.
4. This show is the opposite of “Sister Wives”
While the show “Sister Wives” shows how multiple wives make it work with a single husband, “Escaping Polygamy” is just the opposite. It is a docuseries about women who desperately want to get out of the situation so they are not forced to marry or stay with a husband who has multiple wives.
5. The show educates people who are stuck in this situation
Jessica, Andrea and Shanell who appear on the show are all about helping women who want to get out of polygamous situations. All three of the girls have themselves, been entrenched in this way of life, and they have all found a way out. Their goal is to offer help to women wanting to escape also. Their goal is to save as many as they can and the series is a good start. While it’s true that many women stuck in polygamy do not have access to a television or other types of media, when they’re looking for help, or a way out, they may come into contact with someone who is familiar with their plight and who will help them. Many of the people in these families are truly desperate to get out. There are incidences of abuse, rape and isolation which constitute criminal acts, but when you’re raised in this situation, it’s tough to know where to turn for help or how to get out.