The Amish Heritage Foundation supports you!

Need help? Call/text 212.634.4255 or visit our website

Torah founded the Amish Heritage Foundation (AHF) to help Amish (inside and outside the Church). We are secular/nonsectarian (not religious), LGBTQ+ welcoming, and can help you with sexual assault cases, education, and other legal and life situations.

The 10-Step Grooming Process used by sexual predators to victimize you

This grooming process is what rape survivor Cameron Altaras experienced as an adult. Child sexual abuse victims are groomed slightly differently, but mostly the same. To hear my converation with Cameron about the difference, please check out our podcast episode on iTunes or YouTube.

Cameron was violated by Vernon Leis, her Mennonite father-in-law, a highly revered (now deceased) pastor. In the Mennonite world, he’s the equivalent status of Harvey Weinstein.

Pick your chapter 🙂

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“This book had me reading it to the end in almost one sitting! A very well written memoir, capturing the author’s life growing up in her Amish community, how she escaped and the obstacles she faced.” – Lindsay Gibson, author of Just Be: How My Stillborn Son Taught Me to Surrender

“Torah’s tale is one of immense trials followed by towering triumphs.

Less a book and more a confession from a close friend.

Riveting, inspiring, empowering.”

– Brian Young

Navajo Writer + Filmmaker

"Absolutely a must-read"

Absolutely a must-read. It is an easy yet well-written read that deals with incredibly complex themes. . . . As someone who has read quite a few books and memoirs dealing with themes of trauma and overcoming obstacles, I have to say this memoir has it all.

I found this book and the author’s personal journey to be so inspiring and empowering, as she describes and reflects on her escape from a terrible situation at a young age as well as her entrance into a culture (and even a language) quite different from her own.

Her journey from Amish upbringing to graduating from one of the most elite universities in the USA is amazing.

Highly, highly recommended, and my congratulations to the author for her success and hard work in processing so many traumas allowing her to be able to share her story in written form with us!

Melanie Jones, Reader Review

"Wow! Jaw-dropping story!"

Wow! Jaw-dropping story! Each time I sat down to read a few pages, I found myself wondering what I would find next. And each page that I turned was more sensational than the one before.

At the moment, I am struck with how my perception of the Amish and your childhood are such sad conflicts. I am also dumbstruck with all that you have achieved, and your path along the way as you juggle burdens from your childhood. You amaze me.

MW, Reader Review

"Highly recommend . . . inspiring true life story about succeeding despite all odds"

Congratulations to Torah for being able to process her traumatic childhood experiences enough to be able to write a memoir. This is a very inspiring and engaging story about how the author, a 15-year-old female, managed to escape from a terrible and situation.

Despite being uneducated at the time her escape and not speaking English as her first language, she then goes on to graduate from one of the most elite universities in the USA.

I highly recommend this to anyone looking for inspiring true life stories about overcoming trauma, self-empowerment (especially female empowerment), and succeeding in life despite all odds.

Keerthi Vemulapalli, Reader Review

"This book kept me riveted until the end"

This book is awakens one to the awful potentials of the closed Amish community

This book kept me riveted until the end. The emotional lows that she went through were so painful and traumatizing that I could empathize with her pain and hope now she can live a better life.

Tina, Reader Review

“Wow! Jaw-dropping story! Each time I sat down to read a few pages, I found myself wondering what I would find next.

And each page that I turned was more sensational than the one before.”

– MW

Reader Review

“Absolutely a must-read. It is an easy yet well-written read that deals with incredibly complex themes. As someone who has read quite a few books and memoirs dealing with themes of trauma and overcoming obstacles, I have to say this memoir has it all.”

– Melanie Jones

Trauma Survivor

Amish Children

Traditional Midwestern
This girl could be me when I was that age. The style of clothing is similar to the style I grew up in.
This book is to let you know that you don’t have to be extraordinary to be Extraordinary.

If you read it, you’ll find a part of yourself in my story.

It’s for you if you’ve ever felt foreign in the body or culture you were born in.

Or if you’ve dedicated your life to answering the questions:

Who am I?
Why am I here?
Why don’t my parents love me?
Why does bad shit happen to me?
Will I ever be happy and loved?

 

– Torah Bontrager

An Amish Girl in Manhattan: Escaping at Age 15, Breaking All the Rules, and Feeling Safe Again (a memoir)