Duggar fans and the anti-Duggar community have been clashing this week over allegations that the oldest Duggar son, Josh Duggar, was accused of molesting five underage girls as a teen. Many Duggar fans immediately posting that they “stand with Josh Duggar” following the allegations and noted that he should not be demonized as he had repented for his sins. Likewise, anti-Duggar activists that have been searching long and hard for a reason to have the show cancelled from the TLC network began to dig deeper and deeper searching for the most horrific details of the abuse possible. After the release of the police report, the battle began over if the treatment received by Josh Duggar and the victims was sufficient enough, or if more should have been done. However, during all of this back and forth between the opposing Duggar groups, the victims of the crime were left to suffer, yet again, from the horrific crimes committed against them.
There is no justification for Josh Duggar’s behavior. However, that does not mean that every single detail of the crimes should be released as the victims are forced to relive their horror each time more “secrets” are revealed. At this point in the Duggar family scandal, the public knows everything that needs to be known. We know that Josh Duggar did something horrible as a teenager. We know that five victims suffered from the crimes, and that they were able to find forgiveness and healing over the past 10 years. However, thanks to our over-zealous need to “know more” we have unintentionally re-opened those wounds for the girls who had taken great lengths to heal.
We can all have our feelings about Josh. However, those feelings should not overshadow the true victims of this crime and the feelings they are likely reliving at this time. One of the victims is still a minor and requested that the police report be destroyed. This victim feared that her identity would be revealed and that she would have to face public backlash from that revelation. Is that what we want for a victim of a sexual abuse crime? Do we want victims to fear that their identities will be revealed or that they will be questioned for the path of healing they decided to take for themselves over the years? I don’t think that anyone wants that for a sexual abuse victim. Therefore, it may be time to step back from the search for details and give the Duggar girls time to heal from the media scrutiny regarding the way they have handled their abuse and personal healing.
Lastly, many have questioned why Josh Duggar will not face “justice” for the crimes he has committed. This is something that is open for debate, but that should not be done at the expense of the victims. We must now decide, do we want to force an abuse victim to relive her horror all over again in the media for the sake of a “I told you so” to an all-to-perfect family? Or do we want to do what our justice system was designed to accomplish by protecting victims of horrible crimes by honoring their privacy and give them time for healing?
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