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I am going to start this post with a big fat trigger warning: incest, sexual abuse of children, adults in positions of power revictimizing survivors of sexual abuse, victim-blaming, gaslighting.  This is a post about some seriously sick and fucked up shit.

The story about the oldest son in the Duggar family of (former) hit TV show 19 Kids and Counting, having molested several of his very young sisters, as well as at least one non-relative, is old news by now.  (Story here if you aren’t familiar with it.  Trigger warnings abound.)

There are any number of angles I could take on this story: how the adults who should have been protecting those little girls, instead circled the wagons to protect the family’s reputation; the social, religious, and political connections that may have been leveraged to keep this quiet as long as it was; the possibility that the TV station was aware (at least of rumours) of some of this and just kept the show going for years; Josh’s gross fauxpology;  the rampant prevalence of sexual abuse of girls and women in Dominionist and Quiverfull sects;  the way Christians are acting like the Duggars are being persecuted; the claim Christians make that an alleged human sacrifice 2000 years ago makes everything OK now; the Christian emphasis on forgiveness and turning the other cheek, that is so easily and often used to silence victims and empower abusers.

I want to talk about those little girls.  Michelle Duggar (their mom) says they received counselling.  She didn’t give specifics, but considering that actual licensed therapists are mandatory reporters, and mandatory reports were not made, we can assume the counselling was of a less-formal variety.  It so happens that the organization that is the source of many of the Duggars’ beliefs, and produces much of their home-school curriculum, the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP), has a lesson plan for counselling survivors of sexual abuse.  It is horrifying. Nearly every point victim-blames and/or displays callous disregard for the survivor’s pain. Image of the document after the break.

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