I was not born Amish, I was born into a family full of poverty, domestic violence and drug and Alcohol abuse. When I was 4 my mom met a new guy that became my step-father, this was the beginning of a terrifying nightmare that would last for 19 years.
Gradually we began to dress and live like the Amish, my step-father eventually cut off almost all access to the outside world. My sister and I were held on a mountain ranch that was 6 miles from the nearest town. It was a terrifying life full of severe beatings, sexual abuse and isolation. Being isolated from the rest of the world was probably one of the worst things I went through.
At the age of 18 I finally tried to escape after my step-father tried to break my neck. I was not successful. Fearing that my sister and I would eventually escape, my mom and step-dad took my sister and I to an Amish community where we were adopted and became baptized members.
For three and a half years I lived as a young Amish woman but I found life to be frustrating and I was concerned by the amount of abuse I was told about and was a witness to. I thought in order to got to heaven I had to be Amish, I truly believed that if I left the Amish I would go to hell. At the same time, I wondered how this church that was supposed to be the epitome of what God wanted from his followers could harbor child molesters and rapist.
During my last six months among the Amish I lived with the bishops family. Right from the start the bishop began fondling me and exposing himself to me. I gritted my teeth and bore the abuse, I knew if I told I would be blamed for attracting him. Finally during the last few months I began to suspect that he was also molesting his daughters. Then one morning he came into my room while I was still in bed and assaulted me. Afterwards I ran to a neighbor lady and she took me to the police. It was a horrifying experience and in the end the bishop escaped into Canada with his whole family. 11 years later I would find out that he molested almost all of his 11 children. While he had been in our community the church had known he was a child molester and had done nothing to stop him.