Are Goshen College & Bluffton University Protecting an Abuse Enabler?
On Sept 2, 2022 the below packet was shipped from The Misfit Amish via UPS to people at Goshen College & Bluffton University to make them aware of a pattern of professional misconduct on the part of Dr Jeanette Harder.
MISCONDUCT DOCUMENTATION PACKET
Sexual abuse occurs in all communities, regardless of their religion. Although social work can play an integral role in reducing that abuse, insular communities, such as plain Amish and Mennonites, are especially vulnerable to harm caused by unscrupulous social workers who use their lack of resources for their own personal gain.
DR. JEANETTE HARDER, recently named professor and director of the joint Master of Social Work program between Goshen (Ind.) College and Bluffton (Ohio) University, is one such person. Although she should be an example of integrity and professional ethics, Dr. Harder has engaged in a pattern of misconduct that enables and protects abusers within plain Amish and Mennonite communities, and she profits from enabling and legitimizing their abusive systems.
Peer professionals and members of the plain community alike have encouraged Dr. Harder to acknowledge the harm she has caused, but she has refused to accept responsibility for that harm. Dr. Harder has a pattern of behavior, evidence of which is part of this packet, that shows a disregard for the standards of her profession as a social worker, a disregard for the standards of a program evaluator and faculty member, and a disregard for the lives of the people she claims she is an expert at understanding.
Abuse survivors from plain communities are typically silenced while also being isolated from many of the resources for abuse survivors. Often blamed for the abuse, they are trained to forgive, which means never speaking of it again. They deserve better from social workers and advocates than Dr. Harder, who further silences, diminishes, and demeans survivors.
Our sincere desire is that you will examine the evidence in this packet, indexed for your review, and consider joining the call to hold Dr. Harder accountable. Dr. Harder must acknowledge the harm caused by her negligence and take action to correct information and publications which do not align with the best practices of her field.
The Misfit Amish
INDEX OF PACKET MATERIALS
▪ For the Sake of a Child, Hoover and Harder, recommended books and resources
Dr. Harder wrote a book with Allen Hoover, which includes recommended books and resources to address abuse in plain communities. One of the resources is a series of booklets called The Sacred Subjects.
▪ Book List, Sacred Subjects, one of Dr. Harder’s recommended resources, is a series of booklets including To a Girl of Eleven.
▪ To a Girl of Eleven, selected pages (pages 15 and 16)
To A Girl of Eleven, as one of Sacred Subjects, is one of Dr. Harder’s recommended resources. It has advice to an 11-year-old girl on protecting her brother from his lust for her (like don’t climb ladders). The passages indicate girls are responsible for preventing their family members from sexually abusing them.
▪ Open letter written to Dr. Jeanette Harder written by victim advocates
Several plain survivor advocates reached out to Dr. Harder to communicate the harms she had caused, intentionally or unintentionally, to plain survivors. They pointed out that, as someone who was not plain, she had not yet developed an understanding of the plain communities and requested that she cease her harmful work and begin to listen to plain people before calling herself an expert.
▪ Statement by Dove’s Nest, “Dove’s Nest connection to Plain community work, origin of For the Sake of A Child”
Recently, in response to conversations with plain survivor advocates about the harm caused by Dr. Harder’s work, Dove’s Nest engaged in a process of listening, learning, and reflecting on their role in that harm. They came to understand they had enabled Dr. Harder’s harm of others and the discrepancy between their professed values and Dr. Harder’s actions. As part of accepting accountability for their role in Dr. Harder’s harmful behavior, they released a statement apologizing for that harm and separating from Dr. Harder and her work in plain communities.
▪ Dr. Harder’s written response to criticism
As a social worker and program evaluator, Dr. Harder should be open to a process of continual growth and development by listening to the members of the communities in which she is developing programs designed to support their overall well-being. However, Dr. Harder’s response to efforts to explain the harm she has caused has been to dismiss the feedback as irrelevant, the product of one person (instead of many), and a misunderstanding of her efforts. She has not been willing to accept the feedback and work to improve
To view the packet in it's entirety, click the snail mail packet button and download the pdf of the scanned contents.
Based on UPS tracking information the following individuals have received the packet and at today's date, Sept 30th 2022, we have not received a response.
President Rebecca Stoltzfus, Delivered On: Wednesday, September 07 at 12:56 P.M.at Inside Delivery
VP of Academic Affairs, Academic Dean, Ann Vendreley, Delivered On: Wednesday, September 07 at 12:56 P.M.at Inside Delivery
VP of Student Life, Dean of Students, Gilberto Perez, Delivered On: Wednesday, September 07 at 12:56 P.M.at Inside Delivery
VP for Communications and People Strategy, Jodie Beyeler, Delivered On: Wednesday, September 07 at 12:56 P.M.at Inside Delivery
VP for Enrollment Management, Stephen Wolma, Delivered On: Wednesday, September 07 at 12:56 P.M.at Inside Delivery
Professor of Social Work, Jeanne Liechty, Delivered On: Wednesday, September 07 at 12:56 P.M.at Inside Delivery
Professor of Social Work, Carol Jarvis, Delivered On: Wednesday, September 07 at 12:56 P.M.at Inside Delivery
Assistant Professor of Social Work, Robin Ebright Zehr, Delivered On: Wednesday, September 07 at 12:56 P.M.at Inside Delivery
President Jane Wood, Delivered On: Tuesday, September 06 at 11:35 A.M.at Receiver
VP and Dean of Academic Affairs, Lamar Nisly, Delivered On: Tuesday, September 06 at 11:35 A.M.at Receiver
VP of Advancement and Enrollment Management, Robin Bowlus, Delivered On: Wednesday, September 07 at 1:33 P.M.at Receiver
Associate Academic Dean, Randy Keeler, Delivered On: Tuesday, September 06 at 11:35 A.M.at Receiver
Professor of Social Work/Director of Social Work Program, Walter Paquin, Delivered On: Wednesday, September 07 at 1:33 P.M.at Receiver
Assistant Professor of Social Work, Heidi Mercer, Delivered On: Wednesday, September 07 at 1:33 P.M.at Receiver