Speaking Up for Jill and Jessa Duggar

by June 11, 2015
filed under Activism
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Jill and Jessa Duggar

People Magazine

Several weeks ago, the scandal of Josh Duggar’s past molestation and sexual assault rocked the social media world. As weeks passed, the story unfolded and the victims of the abuse included the family babysitter and four of his sisters. Beyond the scope of the damaging effects and illegality of sexual assault, abuse and molestation, the way the Duggar parents handled Josh’s actions belittled their daughters and women in general.

From what I understand, the events happened 12 years ago when Josh was 14 and his sisters Jill and Jessa were 12 and 10. Additionally, the female family babysitter was a victim but her age and name are unknown. The Duggars are using words like ‘improper touch’ and praying God to minimize the actions committed. The same way I don’t think you can pray the gay away, I don’t think you can prey deviant sexual tendencies away. Here’s what Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have to say about what happened:

Josh is not a pedophile because he was a child so it was a minor preying on a minor.

Actually, juveniles who are 15 or 16 years of age can be tried for sexual assault. Think back to when you were 15. I’m guessing you knew what was right and what was wrong. Additionally, not only was he preying on a minor but on his sisters, so that’s legally considered incest in the United States. This rationalization, among the rest, protects Josh at the expense of his sisters. As the Duggar parents make excuses for their son, they push aside the trauma that their daughters have undergone and essentially put their son first. It took them until the third incident, in which Josh confessed to touching his youngest sister, to remove him from the home. They sent him to counseling, but honestly, that should have happened right away. To me, this seems like they’re protecting their reputation not their daughters.

They were asleep so they didn’t know.

The situation isn’t much different from when a person is drunk and raped. They might have been unconscious but that doesn’t mean they’re okay with it or it doesn’t affect them. Even if they didn’t know, it’s still a crime. They were violated unknowingly in a very vulnerable state. How is a victim in this situation supposed to sleep again? Even though the Duggar family is refusing to address this as rape, Arkansas law defines sexual molestation as such.

Jill and Jessa say that as the victims they forgive their brother and that he shouldn’t be called a pedophile.

I believe this directly reflects on how their parents handled this situation. These young women can forgive their abuser, which is entirely their choice, but it would seem that they never viewed him as an abuser, thereby letting him get away with it. I would hypothesize that these words were repeated to them over and over to the point where they truly believe he isn’t a pedophile. They are more upset by the violation of their privacy than the abuse they were submitted to as children. Additionally, the parents put in ‘safeguards’in which they weren’t allowed to be alone and the only male lap they could sit on was their father’s. I wonder if Josh’s wife Anna is putting in the same ‘safeguards’ for their daughter now.

Who was protecting Jill and Jessa Duggar? Not even the police officer involved took any measures to protect them. They already live in a sexually oppressed environment but now, for 4 of them, sex and intimacy have been forever changed. They are being taught that men can touch them without their consent and that’s okay.

In world where social media is a main influence for young adults, there could very well be victims of abuse watching the Duggars who could be rationalizing what was done to them. So let me say here – inappropriate touching or words that make you uncomfortable is sexual assault.

If you think you could be a victim of sexual assault, call the Crisis Call Center at 775-784-8090 or 1-800-992-5757 or visit their website.

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