An Old Order Amish woman in a blue dress and black cape and apron walks in a grassy field on a sunny afternoon
Article finds child sexual abuse in the Amish community
Cosmopolitan Magazine investigative article idenitifes 52 child sexual assaults over the past two decades
For most people who don’t come into contact with the Amish community on a regular basis, the Amish are a curiosity. To them, the Amish appear to live an idyllic existence marked by peace, their faith and rejection of modern transportation and energy. The neighbors of the Amish in Lancaster County and other places in Pennsylvania would add hardworking to their descriptions of the Amish, as well, and many are protective of the Amish community.
However, a year-long investigation by the non-profit newsroom Type Investigations and Los Angeles-based journalist and filmmaker Sara McClure found the Amish are hiding what they call a horrifying secret — that Amish children are being sexually abused by their family members and neighbors.
In an article that is published this month in Cosmopolitan Magazine, McClure writes that she identified 52 official cases of Amish girls and boys being sexually assaulted in seven states over the past two decades. The article also says that most often the sexual assaults are not reported to police, are kept quiet within the Amish community and that many times, the Amish side with the abuser rather than the victim of the assaults.
Two experts on the Amish from Elizabethtown College’s Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies appear on Thursday’s Smart Talk to discuss child sex abuse in the Amish community. We’re joined by Elizabethtown College Professor Emeritus Donald Kraybill, Ph.D.,Distinguished Professor and Senior Fellow, Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College and Steven Nolt, Ph.D., Professor of History and Anabaptist Studies at Elizabethtown College.
Book discussed on the program – For the Sake of a Child; Love, Safety, and Abuse in Our Plain Communities, Author: Allen Hoover, Dr. Jeanette Harder