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On The Duggars

May 26, 2015

Sexual Abuse Silence

I don’t want to talk about the parents.

I don’t want to talk about how they raised their children in a cult.

I don’t want to talk about Josh Duggar.

He’s a child molester.

I don’t want to talk about his “reform.”

Josh and his parents insist that he is no longer a danger, but Josh and his parents are also the people who hid his sexual assault.

So maybe their word is not so valuable.

Oh wait, I’m sorry, I misspoke. (mistyped?)

Their word means less than nothing and I would be perfectly happy if they would shut the fuck up.

I don’t want to talk about the family’s connection with Hobby Lobby.

I don’t want to talk about the fact that the place that Josh was sent to for “counseling,” the place wherein the family claims that Josh underwent his “reform” was run by a man who is also a child molester.

Because, you know, that was probably an ideal place for some sort of reform to come over him.

Or not so much.

What I want to talk about is the people who aren’t talking.

We’ve heard from Jim Bob and Jim Bob again through Michelle and Josh and Jessa’s father-in-law and Mike Huckabee and any number of other people who I don’t care about and should shut up forever.

You know who we haven’t heard of?

His sisters. His victims.

The people who matter.

Because let me be explicit, JOSH DUGGAR DOES NOT MATTER. Not in the least. Not even a little bit.

Neither do his parents and their ridiculous TV show.

Their word means less than nothing and I would be perfectly happy if they would shut the fuck up.

His victims matter.

Those girls matter.

And they are being silenced.

By their father, who is supposed to protect them.

By their mother, who is supposed to fucking protect them.

By the cult they grew up in, which sees women as temptation personified, even if by women, we are talking about female children.

By the television network that is profiting from them.

When someone hurts you, mentally, emotionally, physically, you react. And generally that reaction has volume.

You cry.

You lash out.

You shout.

You curse, whatever.

But the victims have been silenced.

That silence is a continuance of the abuse.

Because that’s what abusers do. They convince you, coerce you, or force you into keeping the secret of the abuse and to their twisted, predatory logic, complicity in your own abuse. They tell you it’s your fault until you believe them.

Silence is poison.

I’m not saying that I am demanding a statement from the victims. Personally, I find the idea of ever asking one of them about the possibility of abuse to be horrifying.

That is a thing that should never, ever happen.

it’s totally going to happen, but it shouldn’t.

I’m saying that it is clear that their parents and their abuser and the cult to which both their parents and their abuser belong don’t want to hear their voices.

They want the victims to be silent.

When they are ready, when they have escaped the cult of their childhood and become their true selves, and in so doing they realize that NOT ONE THING THAT HAPPENED TO THEM IS THEIR FAULT, when they realize that they have voices, I want them to feel free to use them.


I want them to cry and fight back and smash things.

I suggest the patriarchy.

I will listen I will believe them.

And then I will leave them all the way alone to heal.


24 Comments leave one →
  1. Maggie Mae permalink
    May 26, 2015 11:56 PM

    Reblogged this on maggiemaeijustsaythis.

  2. May 27, 2015 1:56 AM

    I think you need to think a little deeper about this issue. Mainly how is it that a teenage girl is a child victim while the same age boy is a ruthless perpetrator? As someone who has been the foster parent (and biological parent) of multiple teenage boys and girls, gender doesn’t matter in regards to age. 14 is a child with a teenage body, raging hormones, and the experience of a gnat. They don’t know any better what to do or not do than they are taught but if they are prosecuted for acting inappropriately the first time, how do they learn anything except punishment?

    None of us were in the house when these issues occurred. They weren’t even making a tv show yet, so why is it anyone’s business other than their own? Are you God? Is it your place to forgive or judge what they have done? Have they committed an act against you? why must a “victim” always speak out and be heard? Raging on and on about an act perpetuates being a victim … and no one deserves to have to live their entire life as a victim of anything.

    • May 27, 2015 7:24 PM

      Mainly how is it that a teenage girl is a child victim while the same age boy is a ruthless perpetrator?

      Because one of them is an admitted sexual predator and the others (plural FIVE of them.) are the victims of that predation? Those two states are the opposite of the other.

      They don’t know any better

      Seriously? I mean seriously? I mean completely aside from the fact that they were raised in a cult that explicitly devalues women and our agency, that cult made it clear that any kind of sexuality before marriage is unacceptable. So Josh Duggar totally knew better. he totally knew that he was doing wrong. That’s why he waited until people were sleeping and snuck into his victim’s rooms.

      Is it your place to forgive or judge what they have done?

      It’s not my place to forgive. But it is totally my place to judge. That is how society functions. We look at behavior and we decide if it is acceptable or not. Molesting children? Totally not on the acceptable list. Now, unlike his father, I do not and never have thought that sex offenders should be killed. I just think they need to face real consequences.

      And you know what? Having studied this subject I know that people who offend against children are significantly LESS likely to offed again IF they go through treatment and are forced to face the consequences of their behavior. But Josh Duggar wasn’t forced to do either of those things. So as of now I see him as a clear and present danger to children. He’s got a daughter.

      Raging on and on about an act perpetuates being a victim

      No. Just no. As I said in the blog post “Silence is poison.” As one of my previous commenters stated “So many people are socially revictimizing survivers by defending this secrecy and then pointing to those call who them out on it as the aggressors.” I will add, you should be ashamed of yourself.

    • May 27, 2015 8:07 PM

      “I think you need to think a little deeper about this issue. Mainly how is it that a teenage girl is a child victim while the same age boy is a ruthless perpetrator?”

      . . . . .
      . . . . .

      First of all “ruthless perpetrator” are your words, not Isobel’s.
      Within the context of growing up in a cult that warps young minds, all the Dugger children are victims. Regardless of their current age. But Josh is also a perpetrator of sexual crimes.

      And there is absolutely nothing that can be said that changes those facts. And dismissing this violation of body and spirit based on “oh those are just teenage antics” is disgusting.

      “None of us were in the house when these issues occurred. ”

      So what?
      That doesn’t change any of the facts – those girls were molested by a trusted person and then they were further violated by being forced to be silent at best. At worst they were taught that either they invited this violation on themselves or God caused it to happen to give them greater spiritual strength.

      So no, we were not in the house when it happened. But it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

      “They weren’t even making a tv show yet, so why is it anyone’s business other than their own?”

      Sexual molestation, rape, and this kind of violation are CRIMES! Our legal system has made it other people’s business.

      There is no legal justice available, but there should still be consequences.

      ” Are you God?”

      . . .

      . . .

      So is there where you go the “there is one judge and that is god” place? Yeah that doesn’t work.

      ” Is it your place to forgive or judge what they have done? ”

      Judge yes, forgive no.

      “why must a “victim” always speak out and be heard? ”

      Because we have to prove that we have been victimized.
      And then we have to prove that we didn’t bring it upon ourselves.
      And then we have to prove that we are worthy of being more than a victim.

      The girls who were violated should not be required to make public statements unless they want to. But they should not also be forced into shameful silence.

      And comments like yours don’t help the girls break free of the cage of silence, it only makes the bars stronger.

      • May 27, 2015 8:10 PM

        It’s cute that people think that every ascribes to their Christian standards of “only God can judge.” Because I am not Christian so I do that for myself.

    • May 27, 2015 10:07 PM

      Incredibly brainwashed response…. worth ignoring.

  3. fictionalkevin permalink
    May 27, 2015 5:44 AM

    Perceptive, thoughtful, on point. Thank you.

  4. Dreamer9177 permalink
    May 27, 2015 6:29 AM

    I completely agree

  5. tmezpoetry permalink
    May 27, 2015 11:16 AM

    Yes, so true. I am not usually so disturbed by a story but this one…this one has so many deep and disturbing connotations. I also wrote a poem about it in my blog. So many people are socially revictimizing survivers by defending this secrecy and then pointing to those call who them out on it as the aggressors. They and thier defenders do NOT get to do that. We, as a group of knowledgable men and women will keep up the good fight for all those who have been kept under not only a vocal silence, but a psychological one as well….

  6. May 27, 2015 2:21 PM

    As part of the silent sisterhood of the transgressing pedophile bros, given leave by enabling psychobabbling parents…I reblog with relish…and thank you for your very astute post with which I couldn’t agree with more.

  7. May 27, 2015 2:23 PM

    Reblogged this on 50 Shades of Gray Hair and commented:
    I could not agree more with this if I’d written it myself. Thank you Witch for the much needed slap in the face wake-up to anyone still listening to these ridiculous justifications for Duggar’s actions!

  8. May 27, 2015 2:26 PM

    Reblogged this on Susan Daniels Poetry.

  9. May 27, 2015 10:14 PM

    Fucking well said…. I could not agree more with any of what you’ve said… It is clear to me you know whereof you speak, and, since you are 100% correct in every assessment you presented (every assertion made has already been proven, and corroborated…), as G. Santayana said, your philosophy (i.e., your opinion) bears significantly more weight than one is that is patently untrue, based on corrupted information (delusions of adequacy).

    I once attended a seminar on child molestation while working in mental health; the speaker, a psychiatrist who treated such people for over 25 years, said the only way to cure the disorder is with a bullet. He knew of NO ONE who had ever completely rid themselves of the disorder; there is an nearly 100% recidivist rate for serial offenders… They don’t change; they are broken.. and they do the same to their victims…

    So fuck ’em, hard, where it hurts, then leave them to rot…

    Oh, sorry, too harsh… oops.

    Oh, well.


    gigoid, the dubious

    • May 29, 2015 5:46 PM

      Interesting fact, given the proper counseling and consequences, sex offenders are actually the least likely to re-offend of all violent criminals. Check the FBI statistics for criminal recidivism. BUT, and this is the most important thing, they have to have gone through some sort of real program that examines their desires, identifies their triggers and teaches them to avoid or overcome them.

      And Josh Duggar got none of those things. His program was run by a man who was later revealed to have been molesting girls and his version of religion makes it clear that all temptation is the responsibility of the female, no matter how young that female is.

      • May 29, 2015 6:08 PM


        Thanks for thinking, and commenting, however, I must disagree to a degree with part of what you said, in re: sex offenders

        I was a psych tech in various California State Mental Health facilities for 17 years, and, from what I know, you must be talking about some other offenders. My own experience with sex offenders, rapists, serial molesters, etc…, as well as the experience of all those I knew in the field, is this: rapists, and molesters, are very good at talking a good game of change, but, inside, do NOT make any real changes… There is NO program, no therapy, and no technique that works; they’ve all failed, mostly. Any success claimed is minor, and infrequent, and simply not real.

        Moreover, I wouldn’t trust the FBI’s statistics on much of anything to do with sex offenses, as it is a) mostly out of their jurisdiction; the states have the jurisdiction in most cases, except for kidnapping, or trafficking across state lines, and, b) J. Edgar didn’t like to let much light get shined on sex offenses, since he was so deeply in the closet….

        I agree completeley about the Duggars, and Joshy. None of them are worth the water they’re made up of, as far as I’m concerned; hanging is too good for them….

        gigoid, the not dubious at all about this…


        • May 29, 2015 6:22 PM

          I forgot to add… Many of the crimes committed by rapists, and serial child molesters, are not considered ‘violent’ crimes, and would be left out of any statistics presented. Hell, it’s common knowledge in the field that over 50% of rapes and molestations never get reported….

          In addition, when a man goes to a prostitute, a woman who 98% of the time has been forced into the trade, it isn’t considered rape, though in my mind, it is. Child molesters are also seen as non-threatening, but, the crimes they commit on children are the worst perversion humanity displays…. No species can survive by allowing their children to be abused and perverted…

          And the saddest truth of all is that none of the women who are raped, as “hookers” (even the words used tend to belittle the women involved…), or even as sisters, are counted in crime statistics, nor are the well over 75% of molestations that go unreported…. Our society doesn’t want to THINK about that…. and, our laws reflect it.

          So, I’m sorry, but, whatever you were told about how effective therapy can be for these nasty creatures, is WRONG. They don’t change. They don’t WANT to change. As far as I’m concerned, anyone caught molesting a child, or raping, woman OR man, should be shot, on the spot, to save society the cost of dealing with them, and the damage they cause to so many…

          Sorry, you pushed one of my buttons…

          gigoid, the dubious

  10. May 28, 2015 6:42 AM

    Two of my friends have reblogged this post. I live in Australia so the Duggar case hasn’t come to my attention until now. I am appalled and I salute you for this post.

  11. May 28, 2015 4:05 PM

    Agreed. Unfortunately girls who suffer from abuse and neglect tend to lash inward, with self-destructive thinking and behaviors. Boys are more likely to lash out, fight, scream, because, well you know. Boys will be boys.

    I hope they scream and fight for themselves, but given the repressive environment they (we?) grew up in, it doesn’t look good. We may have to lash out for them.

    Never watched that crap, never will. Abhorrent.

  12. May 30, 2015 11:25 AM

    Reblogged this on Jack Pilgrim's Ghost and commented:
    Silence *is* poison.

  13. Lauren permalink
    May 31, 2015 6:19 AM

    The one thing that has bothered me the most about this whole narrative is, Rape is rape, molestation is molestation, I don’t care if they are the same age or if they are 10 years apart. If you touch someone without consent, it is not acceptable. If it was anyone other than the Duggars would the conversation still be that he was a young hormonal teenager, or dare I say that if your daughter was sleeping and said young hormonal teenager touched your daughters private parts while she slept would there be a second thought about this. The fact that the sister have remained silent during this whole charade to not offer any support to josh duggar shows that their was clearly silencing done. If it was as innocent as everyone has been trying to make it seem wouldn’t they be urged to come forward and defend the childish acts of a young hormonal brother. Unfortunately this is not the case, because it was more than that. These girls had something done to them that no one should have to endure. No one, no matter what age, has a right to touch anyone on their genitailia without consent. And consent is not given while asleep.

  14. June 1, 2015 8:02 AM

    Passionately, eloquently written…thank you.

    Here is what haunts me…if we can indeed follow the author’s counsel and let things smash that need to and then heal…what then?

    Humans are still humans…brokenness, selfishness, anger, judgement, unforgiveness, malice, errors of judgement, intentional predatory behavior, etc etc etc…

    I am hoping that there is some vision towards a future, and an understanding that imperfect people will behave imperfectly even then…even after.

    There will be a line of new pretenders to take the places of the old ones…and they do not even know themselves yet that they are in line.

    I recall the words of a very wise man who said that the standard that we measure out to others is the very one that will be used to measure out to us…and that the grace we extend to others is the very grace that will be extended to us…

    …and I double down on Grace. It is not an escape or being complicit…it is a violently revolutionary and subversive action to the system that underlies even the patriarchy…

    …and I know that I need more cheeks to turn.

    Blessings to the author, and gentle yet firm nudges to each reader to ask of the perfect future that awaits us after all the Duggars are exposed and the patriarchy is torn down and those shoes wait seductively to be filled and promise power (my precious) to change things forever and don’t look inside too close lest you see it…lurking there…

    what then?

    Choosing grace extending as many miles as grace will carry me…


    PS: Again, thank you sooo much for your vital and pulsing passion. I am truly blessed.

  15. June 16, 2015 12:04 AM

    So well written. Silence is trauma, and the wrong voices are being heard. Love the anger.

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