KEEP QUIET AND FORGIVE is a triumphant story about an Amish survivors’ movement, inspired by an Amish woman who comes forward to pursue justice and a group of Amish and Mennonite survivors who follow in her footsteps.
Lizzy Hershberger grew up in Minnesota’s Amish Bluff Country. She rode buggies and walked barefoot to a one-room schoolhouse. But at 14 years old, her bucolic life was shattered after being raped by an Amish neighbor. Afterward, she is silenced by her community. Years later, moved by her desire to protect the vulnerable girls and boys silenced in Amish communities today, she reports her childhood rapist to the sheriff, sparking an unprecedented Amish #MeToo reckoning.
KEEP QUIET AND FORGIVE explores the fight and progress around Lizzy’s work as a survivor’s advocate, helping Amish and Mennonite survivors break their silence and navigate life after abuse, suicidal thoughts, and excommunciation. The film observes the highs and lows of what it takes for the Amish to come forward against incredible odds, facing off against a 300-year-old patriarchy that will stop at nothing to silence its whistleblowers. To date, there has not been a film that explores the lives of Amish women and men sexual assault survivors with such an intimate lens.
The film originates from director Sarah McClure’s rigorous journalism and painstakingly collected interviews with the Amish in the award winning Cosmopolitan investigative article, “The Amish Keep to Themselves. And They’re Hiding a Horrifying Secret,” which received over a million readers and continues to be one of the most read stories on Cosmopolitan.