As the Duggar empire crumbles amidst the news of Josh Duggar’s sexual molestation allegations, I have one recurring question running through my head: What about the little girls?
We’re hearing about Josh. We’re hearing about how his parents reacted. We’re hearing from Josh. We’re hearing from Josh’s wife. And, of course, we’re hearing from Josh’s parents — Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.
But, no one is talking about the victims. And, no, I don’t mean identifying who they are and interviewing them on Dr. Phil. Instead, I mean why aren’t we talking about how these girls (maybe now young women) still need help?
Well, today I want to talk to them.
I’m sorry that society failed you. I’m sorry that we didn’t do a better job of protecting you. I’m sorry that you have adults and institutions who pretend that this is a “mistake” and not some grave, criminal injustice done to you.
Let me be clear: these actions are not a mistake and it is not your fault. The actions of Josh Duggar and what he did to you are the actions of a deeply disturbed individual who needs help. It had nothing to do with “teaching right from wrong.” This is not something that is the will of God; you did nothing to warrant being treated like this. And, shame on the adults around you for not getting you the help you deserved.
I’m sorry that you were surrounded by adults that probably made you feel like you didn’t matter.
I’m sorry that a very public family put on pretty, happy faces while these awful things were happening to you behind closed doors. I’m sure you feel embarrassed and isolated. But, please don’t blame yourself.
I’m sorry that now, after 12 years, you have to deal with this publicly, even though I’m sure that you deal with this every single day of your life. Even though it’s been a long time, you don’t have to “just get over it.” This is a really awful thing that happened to you.
I’m sure that the trauma of having it surround you as headline news isn’t helping your healing. Please know, there are many people in the world who are thinking, praying and caring about you.
I guess what I want you to know, above all, is that we believe that this heinous crime happened to you and that everyone ignored it. We believe you and we believe in you. No one blames you.
We want you to know that, even though you can’t (or aren’t willing to) be public about it, we are devastated for you. We’re angry for you. We hurt for you.
We want you to know that, no matter how you were raised and what your belief system is, this was not your fault. You did nothing that caused this — not the way you looked or acted or dressed or anything you said.
There are many people who care about you and we are sorry this happened to you.
We’re sorry we failed you.
Those Who Care About You
If you or someone you know is suffering from sexual abuse, in any form, please reach out for help. The NSOPW recommends starting with: