Church spokesman Daniel Woodruff released the following statement on May 4:
In June 2017, the Church sent a survey to missionaries worldwide to better understand their day-to-day experiences and perceptions related to physical safety. The results painted a picture of overall safety among missionaries and highlighted areas for improvement.
We were pleased to learn that an overwhelming majority of missionaries reported feeling safe within their missions, and the number of incidents was very low compared to the total missionaries serving. Gratefully, serious threats and violence involving missionaries are uncommon, although we recognize that exceptions occur.
The feedback from this survey will inform future changes to the Missionary Handbook and has already impacted the following policies and procedures:
· A Sister Safety Committee that meets regularly is using the survey results to determine how to enhance the overall safety of sister missionaries.
· A follow-up process has been implemented to provide better care and support for missionaries following an incident.
· A significant health, safety, and security training program is being produced that is heavily influenced by the survey results.
Additionally, the Church will soon send a second survey to missions where multiple safety concerns have been reported. Information from this follow-up survey will be shared with mission presidents to help them understand the potential risks in their missions and to help them consider where missionaries are placed.
Missionaries throughout the world are known for their goodness and selfless service. We greatly value their safety. We are committed to doing all we can to understand and to improve, where needed, the circumstances of all missionaries.