Lancaster County is home to the largest Amish population in the United States with 40,525 Amish in 2020. Yet they are greatly underserved in accessing resources to help them prevent the alarmingly high prevalence of sexual abuse of children in their community.
Although published large scale studies in this population do not exist, we have good reason to believe that rates are significantly higher than those cited in the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (22% of boys, 25% of girls). In fact, Amish we talk to frankly admit that child sexual abuse is “out of control” in their schools and communities.
Our meetings in Amish homes continued to increase during 2021. We have gathered with more than 125 Amish in small groups in barns, around kitchen tables, and on front porches to hear their stories. As we become known as trustworthy people, we receive calls from Amish we’ve never met with, asking for our help.