On The Subject Of The Duggars

On The Subject Of The Duggars
Courtesy Photo Josh Duggar

Courtesy Photo
Josh Duggar

This is going to be a hard article. It’s going to be hard to write, and in all likelihood it’s going to be hard to read. Molestation is a sensitive subject in any form, and when it takes the turn it has this last week, it’s hard to talk about it and be reasonable at the same time.

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first. Josh Duggar is a molester. This is a confessed fact. His parents, Jim-Bob and Michelle Duggar, helped to cover his crimes up for three years. This let the crime run past its statute of limitations, and Josh Duggar will not face any legal consequences for his actions. On Thursday, Judge Stacey Zimmerman of Fayetteville ordered the Springdale Police Department to destroy any and all records related to Duggar’s crimes. This is not typically done.

These are all facts. Cold, indisputable facts. They are not up for debate, they are not up for discussion, and that is not what I am doing with this article.

It’s really hard to write something about this family, because their hate and hypocrisy quite literally knows no bounds. In cases like this, all of the focus is put on the perpetrator. No one ever talks about the victims. But bringing that up brings a whole host of other issues along with it. Four of the five victims were his sisters, one as young as four. I don’t feel like I have the right to bring them into it. They didn’t ask for any of this; every part of it, from the heinous act itself to the fallout in the press, has been forced on them by a parent or authority figure. However, I have yet to read an article discussing all of this that actually touches on that. I’ve read articles arguing the highly logical, molestation-is-not-childhood-curiosity thing and I’ve read articles arguing the opposite. Every piece of this case and their comments have been taken apart, bit by bit, but for days not a damned thing came out talking about the victims.

It’s an old statistic that 90 percent of children are abused by someone they know, and that in 30 percent to 40 percent of those cases it will be by a family member. What is less known is that 40 percent of molesters who abuse children under the age of 6 are themselves minors. Notice that the statistics still refer to it as abuse, and the perpetrator as a molester. There is no argument or discussion over this being a folly of youth. There is a clear and present choice in going into a sleeping child’s room and doing anything to them sexually. Doing anything to them period, but especially sexually.

All of this is exacerbated here in Fayetteville because, not even a year ago, these people were in our city telling everyone that trans people posed a threat to our children. They painted a horrifying picture of molesters lurking around every corner, and needing to protect our children. All of this was done while knowing they themselves were protecting the molester, and not protecting any but one of their children.

Any help they did give is up for debate. Michelle has admitted to not sending Josh to the therapy she said she was going to, opting instead to send him to work construction in Little Rock for a few months. The claims they have made that the girls he victimized were given access to therapy and help is doubtful as well.

Having a TLC show, and your entire life, including the church and homeschooling curriculum, documented for the camera, tends to catch up with you sooner or later. The Advanced Training Institute, an evangelically owned and operated home-schooling curriculum and training, actually has a section on dealing with sexual abuse from a family member. Titled “Lessons From Moral Failures In A Family,” it reads like a guide to victim-blame. “What could have been done to avoid it?” and “What teachings could have been given to each child to resist evil?” are just two of the many heinous lessons that would have (presuming they haven’t made drastic changes in their curriculum) been given to Josh Duggar’s victims as a way to help them through an impossibly difficult time.

There’s not much more to say. There’s the indisputable fact, and there’s the thing that no one is talking about.

If any of the Duggar girls happen across this article though, I am sorry. I am so sorry that happened to you.

Categories: Commentary