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A woman who featured in the disturbing Netflix docuseries Keep Sweet: Pray & Obey has opened up about escaping the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) and helping others to do so.
Briell Decker, 36, broke free from the FLDS in 2013 after years of abuse and now runs a refuge for other women who escape the cult’s clasp.
Decker had been held hostage by her own brother for weeks on end at the time of her escape. She used a pair of scissors to unscrew window bolts in his home and fled.
Speaking to The Sun, Decker told of her horrific ordeal at the hands of FLDS leaders, including her husband Warren Jeffs, who was arrested in 2006.
She told the outlet that while part of the radical polygamist sect, she was drugged by cult members, forced to marry Jeffs at 18, sexually abused and even had a hit placed on her.
Jeffs also made Decker take part in ‘heavenly sessions’, which were essentially orgies with groups of his 80 wives, including underage girls.
"I had to get away,” Decker explained. "I'd tried to escape so many times before, and they always caught me, but I wasn't willing to give up. I had to get out for my sanity.”
After escaping out of her brother’s window, Decker ran to the home of a Good Samaritan who lived nearby.
Decker - who was born into the FLDS and grew up in Arizona with her 13 siblings - ran on foot to the garden of a woman who lived nearby and once there spoke to an organisation that aided FLDS community members in their escape.
She was relocated to a safe house hundreds of miles away before moving on to Tennessee where she changed her name and was legally adopted by another woman.
Following Jeffs’ arrest, the 29,000-square-foot home that he primarily lived in was purchased by the Phoenix Dream Centre and transformed into a place of refuge for women fleeing the FLDS.
Decker bravely returned to the location in 2017 and helps other women who have left the cult.
She has since remarried and has forgiven herself for her time spent as an FLDS member, saying: “I need to forgive myself.
"I need to forgive in a way that doesn't bring me back to the same situation but allows me to go forward.”
She added: "I don't need to give him any more power. I don't need to give him any more of my energy."
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