So I’ve had a few days to get my thoughts together on the Duggar story that is all over the news. A couple of people have asked me to share my two cents so here it is:
The Duggar parents knew about this abuse in 2002, before they started their show. Before they put their children in the limelight, making them public figures.
They knew that their daughters, victims of sexual abuse, would have to become spokespersons for the faith of the family. The same family that hushed up their pain, which is horrible.
Silencing their pain is no different than covering up the abuse, and the psychological harm that was done to these girls is blood on the hands of these parents.
Not only did these parents silence the girls pain, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar knew about the abuse an entire year before they reported it.
Neither, Josh nor his victims received counseling until the abuse was reported and if that’s not enough, the parents went to TLC and got on a TV show that required all of them to hush-hush about “the incidents” and pretend they were a perfect “Christian” family who’s never done any wrong.
Well I’m sorry, but Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar did a lot wrong. They preyed on these girls after they were sexual abused.
Number one, they put Josh’s needs above the girls’. The girls were forced to live in a house with Josh for a year before the sexual abuse was reported and before any of them received the help\therapy that they needed.
If my son raped (child molestation is a form of rape) one of my daughters, he would be gone. The right thing to do is to separate him from the girls–send him to live somewhere else so that the girls have time to heal. It should have never been about what made Josh feel happy and safe – he’s not the victim, he’s the perpetrator.
In addition to being forced to live in the same house with a brother that sexually abused them, their parents forced them to go on TV, put smiles on their faces, and pretend that they were part of the ideal “Christian” family all while being forced to keep the disturbing family secret.
That screams, “We’ve forgiven you. Josh, let’s just forget any of this happened”.
Pretending it never happened helps Josh, not the girls. Pretending it never happened minimizes the girls pain, their suffering and confusion, which is another kind of abuse entirely.
If these parents had forced their kids to go on TV focusing on a topic such as gardening, the situation would be different. There is no morality in gardening.
What these parents did was force their daughters to become spokespersons for modesty and purity, knowing that their daughters had been sexuality abused. Sexually abused within the family and forced to still be in that family, living in the house with the perpetrator, yet unable to be honest and speak about their suffering.
Talk about psychologically damaging. My heart breaks for these girls.
These girls were not only made to speak about sex, they were also made to praise Josh for his purity.
No wonder the oldest daughter is not out dating, running off to get married and then rushing into pregnancy. If I had to guess, she’s the healthiest member of the entire family.
Seriously, If these parents had been forthright about the abuse that took place within their family, before they forced their kids to speak about purity, it could have been quite powerful. They could have brought a positive light on a very dark area of the world, a darkness that resides in families in every city, on every street, in every town, in every organization, including churches, across the world but instead they covered it up. There is simply no excuse.