Misty Griffin has an important story to tell, based on her dreadful personal experience. Her story is important especially at this moment when so many politicians are repeating the mantra of “parent rights.” Misty reminds us that children too have rights, and not all parents are trustworthy. Misty wrote her story in a book titled Tears of the Silenced: An Amish True Crime Memoir of Childhood Sexual Abuse, Brutal Betrayal, and Ultimate Survival.

I asked her to write her story for you.

She wrote:

In the United States, freedom of religion has the ability to cancel out every single child safety law/regulation on the books. Children across the nation are cloistered into strict religious communities that either have their own private religious schools or homeschool their children. Most of these groups do not believe in reporting child abuse and stress the importance of severe corporal punishment and view sexual abuse as a moral failing rather than a serious crime. Children in such religions/churches/cults are left with no one in their orbit who will help them out of abusive situations. Many of these children suffer greatly on a daily basis and seem forgotten by regular society.

A bit of my story.

My stepdad was a wanted pedophile who fled the Seattle area in the late 70s after a warrant was put out for his arrest for molesting the neighbor’s 2 small daughters. My mom met him in 1986 when I was 4. My sister and I became isolated and cut off from society. We were sexually abused and severely beaten multiple times a day.

When I was 7 years old, we started dressing in long dresses and scarves. When I was 10 years old we were dressing like the Amish. My mom told everyone we were being homeschooled (in reality we just did sporadic math and reading lessons here and there in case anyone from the state wanted to see schoolwork.) When I was 11 we moved to a remote mountain ranch in northern WA. At 18 yrs old, I tried to escape and was taken to a real Amish community. Three and half years later I fled the Amish community after 6 months of sexual abuse by the bishop.

My entire church knew that the bishop was a sexual predator. They had shunned him for six weeks for molesting his daughter a few years before I landed in the community. I reported the bishop to the police because I was suspicious he was molesting the children. The police drug their feet and told me point blank that they had to be careful not to trample on the religious rights of the Amish community. The bishop ended up escaping to Canada with his whole family and went on to molest almost all of the 11 children. Eleven years later he was finally sent to prison after one of his daughters asked a neighbor for help. They had come back to the United States by that time.

Child Rights Act

I had approximately a third-grade education when I came out into the “world.” It’s so sad that stories like mine are allowed to happen, but my story is not the only one, In recent years I have received thousands of emails from people who grew up in strict religions/cults. We must call out this religious aspect of child abuse because no matter how many laws and regulations we put on the books if this issue is not addressed and children are not given rights, children in strict religions and cults will never be reached.

I am not anti-religion; I am a non-denominational Christian, but religion should not allow anyone to bypass child safety measures. If you agree please sign my Child Rights Act Petition and share it on social media. Religious Rights should not outweigh children’s Human Rights.


Misty Griffin



Pasadena, CA