What Do We Know About Misty Griffin Of Sins Of The Amish?

In the spring of 2022, a Peacock documentary series exposed some of the more unsavory aspects of life within one of America's least-understood communities: the Amish, as Distractify reports. Though the Christian sect and other Americans have lived peacefully side by side for the better part of three centuries, the Amish community, by design, prefers to keep to themselves and avoid interaction with the outside world as much as possible. That means that what goes on in those communities, in places where tourists aren't poking about, is a mystery to many Americans.

The Peacock series "Sins of the Amish" purports that not all of what goes on behind closed doors in the Amish community is in line with the community's outward appearance of piety and religious devotion. Misty Griffin, a woman who lived in the community, claims that she was sexually abused by a church leader during her time in the community and that she got no help from either her community or the police. Further, she claims that the matter of sexual abuse in the Amish community is widespread and goes on pretty much unchecked.

Misty Griffin Wasn't Born Into The Amish Life

Unlike many other Christian groups, the Amish do not evangelize and are, in fact, rather hesitant to take on new members who weren't born into the community, as LancasterPA reports. Misty Griffin and her family broke that mold, however, according to Distractify, as she was a tween when her family began adopting Amish customs and dress (a report by The Cinemaholic claims that she was six at the time), and before long, they were full members of the community.

When she was almost 19, she'd been sent to live with an Amish family, headed by a bishop, who is the most respected and most powerful member of any particular Amish community. Before long, the bishop began sexually abusing her, she said. "He would stare at my breasts, push his erection into my back or pretend to hug me when no one was around and run his hands up and down my body," (via the Daily Mail). She further alleged that he raped her.

The bishop's abuse was allegedly not limited to Griffin. He was also allegedly sexually abusing his own young daughter. It was at that point that Griffin went to the police.

She Got No Help From The Police

Victims of sexual abuse are often reluctant to go to the police, according to Dordulian Law Group, for a variety of reasons, including fear that it will make no difference. Misty Griffin had her own reasons for not wanting to go to the police: the Amish are so steadfast in their opposition to invoking law enforcement in their lives that it's considered anathema. "Amish communities view going to the police as a greater sin than the rape itself," she said, via Distractify.

However, when she found the abuse to be unbearable, particularly in light of her allegation that the bishop was also abusing his own underage daughter, she went to the police. She found them completely uninterested in helping her. "The law enforcement officer said it was my word against his. They didn't ask me if I had a safe place to go, they didn't listen when I said the children were in danger. They kept telling me they had to be careful not to trample on the religious rights of the community," she said.

The bishop who was allegedly assaulting her left the country. However, a decade later another woman came forward alleging sexual abuse, and he was ultimately sent to prison, according to Distractify.

Nurse, Mother, Author

After leaving the Amish community, Misty Griffin found herself with no identification, no Social Security card, and had been thrust into a world whose rules and machinations she didn't understand. "One of the most difficult things was social interactions. I had been taught to not talk to men, to look at the floor when I walked and that was difficult to overcome," she said (via the Daily Mail). Fortunately, with the help of an extended family member, she was able to get her life back into order.

It took her a while, but Griffin was eventually able to get her GED, and by 2012, she'd written her first book, "Tears of the Silenced: An Amish True Crime Memoir of Childhood Sexual Abuse, Brutal Betrayal, and Ultimate Survival," according to The Cinemaholic. Since then, she's written additional books, married, and become a mother,  according to Distractify. As of May 2022, she was working as a nurse. "I am going to keep raising awareness about this issue until Congress passes and enforces significant legislation to help abused children in religious communities," she said.

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.