Rebecca Lemke was a Good Christian Girl who wanted a Good Christian Husband and a Quiverfull of kids. The sort of blessed, picturesque life promised to people who followed The Rules.

The Rules were these:

Don’t wear anything that could cause your male friends to stumble. Scratch that, don’t wear anything but denim skirts and long-sleeve shirts, even when at the pool.

Don’t touch before you get married. No kissing, no hugging, no hand-holding. Break this rule, and you are damaged goods, chewed gum, spit-in water.

Don’t have a crush. If you have a crush on someone before you’re married, you cannot give your husband your whole heart. You’ll have an emotional STD that will infect your marriage! You should really just marry your first crush.

Don’t have problems. Good Christian Girls don’t have problems.

Don’t ask questions. Good Christian Girls don’t do that, either.

Don’t fight back. If a man hurts you, then you led him on and deserved it.

Don’t. Don’t. Don’t.

As long as you follow The Rules, everything will be great.

And everything was great. Until it wasn’t.

The small town homeschool group she attended imploded, leaving Rebecca isolated and alone.

Everything came to a head when one of her friends was violently raped by none other than her older brother.

Everyone around Rebecca said that the girl had deserved it.

But the girl had followed The Rules. The Rules that were supposed to keep them safe and give them a good life.

That was the moment she knew something was wrong, and she wasn’t going to stay silent any longer.

The Scarlet Virgins is a memoir of Rebecca’s journey through the ramifications of spiritual abuse and purity culture, wrestling with the temptation of apostasy, the descent of herself and others into the depths of addiction, alcoholism, anorexia, depression, self-harm, and suicide. She outlines the dangers of finding your identity in your purity or ability to follow the Law rather than in Christ and what he has done for you.