Amanda Householder explains how she got caught by her parents for abusing teenage girls

When the owner of the Circle of Hope boarding school in Humansville, Missouri, was arrested last year on more than 100 counts of child abuse and neglect, authorities pointed to an unlikely whistleblower. : their 31-year-old daughter, Amanda Householder.

In oneComplaint ew filed in Polk . County CourtHost allegations that her parents, Boyd and Stephanie Householder, regularly abused her and her brother, beating them with golf clubs and whips and force-feeding them until they vomited. She also allegations The couple abuses underage girls assigned to their care at the Circle of Hope and forces her to participate in the abuse. After moving out at the age of 17, Amanda started a campaign to shut down her parents’ boarding school.

Circle of Hope was closed in September 2020 and the Homeowners arrested in March 2021. In the affidavits, they allegedly detained their teenage students with handcuffs and zipties, arrested One girl drank dishwashing liquid and shoved another girl’s face in horse manure. The couple has yet to issue a request and their attorney did not respond to a request for comment. They said before Kansas City Stars Their daughter is a “Satan worshiper” addicted to drugs. She denied those claims.

Submitted by Amanda Householder she sue her parents, their school, and another boarding school where they month. Here, she told The Daily Beast what it was like for her family and the surprising social media strategy she used to help her do it.

My parents kicked me out in January 2009. I’m 17 years old. My birthday is at the end of February, so I’m only a month away from being 18… They didn’t know what would happen to me at that point, they just kicked me out. I’m going to go and be homeless. But then my mother’s aunt died, and my grandmother was going to Missouri for a funeral. And so I just went and lived with my grandmother after that.

I think I lived with my grandmother until March. My grandfather passed away and that started a lot of problems between my grandmother and [me], because my mother was always saying stupid things about her mother… And so that started a lot of problems between me and my grandmother. And me too [left and ] moved in with someone I met online.

It’s horrible for the next year. I’m in bad relationships with guys, trying to find a place to stay, and just jumping from one random person I’ll meet online to the next, because I don’t know anyone. I have no one.

I met the father of my kids in 2012… I met an alumnus of Agape and I moved to California with him. I have applied for a job and am working as an apartment manager. [Editor’s note: Agape Boarding School is a school where Householder’s parents worked before opening Circle of Hope.] And my friend that I met at Agape… He was like, ‘Hey, my friend, Bunny’s coming down from San Francisco. We should all hang out together. ‘ And so we did and that’s where I met [the father of my children]. Technically, it was just a one-night stand, but I ended up getting pregnant and decided to keep my son and move to San Francisco with my current husband. Yes, the father of my children. I call him my husband, but we are not legally married.

When I had a son, it wasn’t until he was 1 or 2 years old that he started acting like a kid. How I was raised, I was taught that if a kid hits or bites or screams or anything like that, you hit them, because that’s just what they’re doing. And over the course of a year and a half, I had this perfect baby… No problem, no screaming, no crying, no hitting, nothing like it. He used to be great. But one day he got angry with me and he hit me… And so I hit my son.

My husband was in the other room and he came and he said, “What happened?” And I explained to him and he took my son from my hand. He was like, “We don’t hit kids.” And it started a big argument… and he convinced me to join the therapy. So it’s really the people that I’ve put in my life, happened to be in my life, that taught me that I grew up wrong… They care and they show me that I was brought up wrong and this is not the way. we should treat children.

In 2015, I just gave birth to my second son. At this point, I’ve re-established contact with some of the former Circle of Hope girls, apologizing to them for how I’d kicked them out for talking about the abuse to my parents. And I got this message from a girl I don’t even know. She was in the Circle of Hope at a time when I wasn’t there. And she hit me and she said, “Hey, are you Amanda Householder?” … And I said, “Why do you need me?” And she said, “Well, your parents kicked me out, and I’m homeless.” And I said, “What do you mean my parents kicked [you] out and you are homeless? ” And she was like, Well, I was adopted from Ukraine and my adoptive parents don’t want me anymore and [are] don’t pay your parents anymore. So they gave me some clothes and a teddy bear and told me to walk.”

This part really pissed me off. And this is where I said, no, we’re done, we’re exposing this. They made her walk six miles. The town was six miles away. We’ve always been taught that if you run away, those people will know you’re a horrible kid. If you go into their property, they will shoot and kill you. That’s what we were taught. First, my brain kicks in, they’re kicking you out there and making you walk to the place where all these people are going to shoot you… And second, it’s on a freak highway that doesn’t work. Truckers are always driving. We lost a lot of animals because they were slowing down [and] they accidentally hit animals. My brain got there, and then it turned to the sex trade. And I said, “My parents don’t care about these girls.”

And so in 2015, I posted my first Facebook post… talking about how my parents abused little girls, how they abused me growing up, and how I needed help figuring out how to get girls this to a safe place. Someone contacted me and I helped them get in contact with the girl, and she finally got to a safe place and was on her feet. And then a few weeks later, I found out through my brother that this isn’t the first girl they’ve done this… And so I talked to my brother and was like, “Why? us—my parents’ adult children.—Correct their mistakes?” And so me and another girl got together to form a survival group for the Circle of Hope girls.

Since 2015, we’ve just been on that team trying to get things started. In 2018, Michelle Nickerson’s sister was sent to the Circle of Hope. At that point, I gave up, I said, “Nobody listens to us. What can I do?” And I said, “Okay, last resort, post on Yelp and a Google review of your parents’ school.” And so I did, and then I got an email from Michelle Nickerson and she said, “Hey, here’s my sister. What can we do?” … She found a highway patrol officer in 2018 to launch an investigation into the Circle of Hope, but it’s not until 2020 that we have video of what really happened. [there] that we were valued.

[In 2020] a former student of Agape visited my parents and got footage of how my dad actually acted and he sent me that. [Editor’s note: The video in question shows Stephanie Householder sitting on the couch, as a man whom Amanda and others have identified as Boyd Householder says, “Knock her out, I mean it,” in regard to one of the students.] At that time, myself and the girls all said to ourselves: “They can’t take our truth away, no one can deny us.” Because now we have video footage showing my dad verbally abusive, at least. And so I think that’s what changed. Before they can deny it, because we have no form of proof. And once we got that, there was no way for them to deny it.

We took [that video] to Facebook. That video has only 3,000 views. It didn’t get any attention… Then, my friend Miranda, who co-hosts the Trouble With Me podcast, she said, Hey, you need to go to TikTok. ” …I started talking to her in March, and then in May I finally liked it and I said, “Okay, I guess I’ll take it to TikTok.” I posted a video of my dad saying, ‘Let’s take her down.’ That didn’t really get much traction, but the next day I continued and I was [a popular TikTok challenge]. And that’s when I hit over a million views and 30,000 followers within a day. And then my followers just kept growing. People will ask me questions and I will just answer whatever questions they ask. And that’s how TikTok blew up.

Honestly I think it’s because a lot of TikToks are kids. I think a lot of kids said, “Wait, can this happen? Like if I get kicked out, can this happen?” A lot of them were kids who said, ‘This thing. This is not true, we have the right.’ I think honestly, a lot of kids realize that this can happen to [them], and they got involved and started helping. And [when I say] they jumped in and started helping, I mean they jumped in and started calling the prosecuting attorney and started asking him why he didn’t do anything to help the Circle of Hope. One of the girls in my Circle of Hope called and [the Prosecutor] like, “We’re so overwhelmed with the number of calls we’re getting, I don’t know what we’re going to do with Circle of Hope.” And then hung up. So I know they got thousands of phone calls and that’s largely because of TikTok.

[My parents] was arrested a year from the day we posted [the video] on Facebook… I never thought that would happen. It was really fun because of all the hard work that we did. But at the same time, it’s sad. Because I was like, these are my parents. These are my kids’ grandparents… It’s been a roller coaster of emotions… There are days that are really good, but there are days when I’m like, “I want my mom. I want to have a mother. I want a father”.

[The criminal] the statute of limitations has increased, as it was five years ago. I mainly want [file a lawsuit] Set a precedent so that others who have passed their statute of limitations feel confident enough to try. For me, it’s not about money. I don’t care if I get money from this or not. It’s about setting a precedent and showing that you can’t do this. It doesn’t matter how long ago it happened. You cannot continue to do this.

I have to keep reminding myself that it doesn’t tear my family apart. Anyway, we never had a family. But the part that hurt me the most was that I always wanted to have a family. I always wanted my mom and dad to love and care for me, but they obviously couldn’t. So it’s overwhelming but it’s more than that – I’m proud we made it, we exposed what was happening and the abuse going on behind it. And all the hurt we’ve been through should have torn us girls apart, but it didn’t. It made us stronger and it brought us all together and we did what we had to do. No matter how hard it was, it was the best part and the only thing that got me through.

It was a very long battle. And I know it’s not over. If you’re fighting something similar, you can take a break, but don’t give up completely… Even if times are tough and you feel like getting up, just don’t. Amanda Householder explains how she got caught by her parents for abusing teenage girls


Hung is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Hung joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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