Uncovering abuse in Pa.’s Amish, Mennonite communities

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At top, a family photo of Martha Peight, left, at 13 years old, and her brother, Jesse Hostetler, right, at 14, work on their homeschooling lessons sometime between January and May 2002 at their home in Alexandria. Around the time of this photo is when Martha’s father started abusing her, she says. (Courtesy of Martha Peight.)

At top, a family photo of Martha Peight, left, at 13 years old, and her brother, Jesse Hostetler, right, at 14, work on their homeschooling lessons sometime between January and May 2002 at their home in Alexandria. Around the time of this photo is when Martha’s father started abusing her, she says. (Courtesy of Martha Peight.)

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Members of Pennsylvania’s Amish and Mennonite communities are coming to terms with a widespread sexual abuse crisis that is at odds with their separatist cultures and commitment to unconditional forgiveness. Pittsburgh-Post Gazette reporters Shelly Bradbury and Stephanie Strasburg explain how abuse in those communities has gone unchecked and why it’s been covered up until now.

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