One of two teenage girls, who gained national attention two years ago when they fled the Warren Jeffs polygamy group, has given up on her new life.
She’s gone back to her old lifestyle,causing worry and alarm for those who to tried to help her escape.
They became nationally known as “The Two Fawns,” two sixteen-year old friends named Fawn, fed up with a life controlled by polygamist patriarchs.
But now, one has returned to the sub-culture, an important lesson in why it’s so hard to escape.
Fawn Broadbent is sticking with her plans to make it on the outside. Until a week ago, she and Fawn Holm struggled together to overcome the 4th grade education they got under Warren Jeffs. They’re now seniors in High School. Joni Holm has been surrogate parent for both. She’s Fawn Holm’s sister-in-law.
Joni Holm, Fawn Holm’s Sister-in-Law: “When I found out that Fawn left, the very first instinct was to cry. I spent the first two days crying.”
The Two Fawns drew national attention two years ago. They fled Warren Jeffs’ group at age 16, sick of having their lives controlled.
Fawn Broadbent: “I was having someone else make my decisions for me, decide where I was working at, what I did with my life, and who i would eventually marry. I believe it was the same concern for the other Fawn, too.”
But now Fawn Holm has given up. Friends say she moved into the home of a middle-age polygamist.
He’s reportedly loyal to Winston Blackmore, a key rival of Warren Jeffs. She told friends she just wants to be a mom and raise babies.
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Fawn Broadbent: “I’m scared for her because I don’t think she really knows exactly what she’s done. I’m afraid she thinks the only thing she’s worth for is having children. And she’s not, she could have fulfilled her dream to become a psychologist, like she’s always said she wanted to be.”
Fawn Broadbent says it is tough fitting in, meeting the challenges of the outside world. It’s easier, perhaps, inside.
Fawn Broadbent: “Part of it is you don’t ever have to make decisions. Because they’re made for you. So when you have all these decisions, it’s really hard. And at times you get really frustrated. And you don’t know what exactly to do.”
Joni Holm: “And when they come out here and make decisions, and be accountable, for a lot of them it’s an overwhelming situation.”
Joni Holm says the girls had been taught outsiders are evil. She had to teach the most basic manners.
Joni Holm: “That it’s o.k. to be in the same elevator with boys in there. Just things that you and i take for granted, I had to teach them that was o.k.”
Joni Holm: “I think a lot of them will go back because it’s comfort to them. It’s what they know. We on the outside, every day it’s a new challenge, a new experience for them.”
Joni Holm thinks there’s a big need for a transition center, to help people stay out. We tried to reach Fawn Holm at her new residence in Southern Utah. Someone took a message, but Fawn did not return our phone call.