I wasn't going to write about the Duggar clan and the story about Josh molesting his sisters and a babysitter when he was a teen. Then Megyn Kelly of FOXNews interviewed Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. It's hard to put into words how colossally self serving the interview was. Not only that but it minimized one of the most serious issues of our time, the sexual abuse of children.
First lets start with the facts as they have been presented by the family. When Josh Duggar was a teen he confessed to Jim Bob that he had touched his sisters and another girl over and under their clothing while they were "sleeping".
In the interview Jim Bob and Michelle claimed that the girls didn't know because they were asleep. I've literally interviewed hundreds if not thousands (the cases run together trust me) of children. Many of them say, "he touched me when I was sleeping" or "I was pretending to sleep". For the elder Duggars to assume that the girls didn't know is ridiculous at best and an outright lie at worst.
Jim Bob stated that "it wasn't like rape". I'd like to respectfully call bullshit. Sexual abuse does have different degrees but the it's still a violation and one victim may be just as traumatized by touching as another is by rape. The degree of victimization is in the mind of the victim, not the parents and not the public.
Jim Bob and Michelle talked about being devastated when they found out. The did send Josh away for a while, but paid no mind to the trauma their daughters experienced. If this had been handled properly at the time Josh and his sisters would have been sent to specialized treatment for offenders and victims.
The Duggar family has made terrible mistakes in this case, but they are hardly alone. Sibling abuse is very common. The families that take it to the authorities, despite how difficult it is are the families I truly admire. Covering up for you child isn't being a good parent. Confronting the issue, is.
Since the Duggar's failed all of their children miserably, here's what should be happening now. If this case was in Illinois, there would be a hotline report on Josh's own children for Risk of Sexual Abuse. This is taken when an offender has access and it is unknown if he has completed treatment and or an evaluation determining that he is at low or no risk to reoffend.
As is evident in the show, Jim Bob and Michelle still allow Josh to be around his siblings who are still minors, so a report of risk would be taken on them too. If Josh sees an evaluator who determines him to be low risk, the reports would be unfounded. If not he would be indicated (founded) as would the elder Duggars and the family would be ordered into counseling.
Despite their best efforts to paint themselves as victims, the Duggars have only shed light on small part of their creepy family. If any good comes of this, I fervently hope that kids who are being abused speak up. I hope that parents that find out about sibling abuse come forward. Coming forward takes courage. In the end, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar aren't just failed parents, they're cowards.