Jessa Duggar Claims She Was One Of Josh’s Victims

Jessa Duggar, reality TV star, in an interview with her parents said that she was one of the four sisters her teenaged brother Josh sexually abused. But the family uses the softer, hazy word ?fondled.?

She is a member of the infamous Duggar family featured on TLC, ?19 Kids and Counting.? ?Fox?s Megyn Kelly interviewed Jessa, her sister Jill, and their parents in Arkansas on?Wednesday.

Duggars Deny Daughters' Experience. Jim Bob Duggar

Playing her role in the family denial, Jessa defends her brother (27). She said his abuse of the sisters and a family babysitter was being labeled as a child molester or pedophile, ?so overboard and a lie.?

After a family friend contacted the Arkansas police regarding the sexual abuse in 2006, the authorities began investigating Josh. The conclusion of the inquiry was the statute of limitations had run out. No one filed abuse charges from 2002 to 2003, and the police said they destroyed the record of an investigation.

Jim Bob claims he took his son to a Christian counselor and made him confess to a state police officer prior to the investigation.

In this closed family system, it is notable that the parents defend the molester and deny the girls? abuse. They also take their son?s?claims about what occurred without question: he ?fondled? the girls over their night clothes and only when they were asleep, except in two cases.

Sexual abuse is sexual abuse whether it is over clothes or not. And Josh had no idea whether or not the girls were asleep or pretending sleep, which is a common coping mechanism.

Mother Michelle Duggar wept openly during the interview as she claims for her son,

“He’s very sorry.?

She called this “an unprecedented attack on our family” that should be investigated. She also said her daughters,

“Have been victimized more by what has happened in the last couple of weeks than they were 12 years ago because, honestly, they didn’t even understand and know that anything had happened until after the fact when they were told about it.?

“We had all resolved it, we had forgiven, we had moved on in life.?

She is wrong. Sexual abuse impacts children for decades, longer when the family conspires to belittle it. And the girls may not have remembered the abuse, because theirs is a family where they had no other choice.

If Josh is truly innocent, why didn?t he participate in the interview? He has not spoken publicly about molesting his sisters and the babysitter. However he did manage to write a message online,

“I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption.”

And Josh knows God has forgiven him, how?

When Josh?s sexual abuse surfaced, TLC immediately pulled the show?s reruns. TLC has not decided whether or not the show will continue.

Patriarch Jim Bob said the family is “fine whether they film us or not.”

“We’re just going to go on and live life. We’re going to go on and serve God and make a difference in the world.”

Fox will air an interview with Jessa and her sister Jill in an one-hour special Friday.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Mary Gail Frawley-O?Dea works with sexual abuse, and she advises,

?Juvenile offenders are more likely (than those who start later) to reoffend in life.?

In this sad but not uncommon situation I am reminded of a poignant quote: denial is not just a river.

Note: does not identify victims of sexual mistreatment unless and until they speak publicly.

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About Gloria Christie