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The Duggar family abuse story has stirred up a hornets nest of varying emotions and controversies from all ages, genders, religious and political affiliations. What matters to me most is the survivors of the abuse.

Admittedly I have not seen the entire Fox News interview with Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar or with their daughters, two of the victims who voluntarily admitted the abuse happened to them. I am traveling with my husband and have tried to remain true to being ‘internet free’ but I received a message yesterday from a sibling incest survivor that deserves to be heard by many.

Hopeful Hearts Ministry is about giving a VOICE to survivors of abuse and it is my pleasure to share this VOICE with all of you. I referenced the horrific abuse of this young woman in my last article on the Duggars. What is to follow is her personal commentary and her opinion. She wanted to share not only to be heard but to help others who might be feeling the same as she.

speak life quote

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…I rarely watch the news, or even read the court news as I don’t want to hear about abuse cases. Not because I don’t care, it’s because I do care and I can relate. I looked at my Facebook before work and saw once again the news feed was raging with more articles about the Duggar case. I was drawn to read it. I started to skim through it.

All my life I felt lesser of a family member. It didn’t matter how good of a child I was in school, how kind hearted, etc. I was always the one to blame no matter how small or great the deed. I always felt the reason I was being abused was because I must be this bad child. I know a lot of kids have sibling rivalry, like fighting over the remote or the last cupcake, staying up late etc. When the sibling crosses the line and hurt another in any way its wrong…..

So as I read quickly through the latest news article, something inside of me flared up. Here was a mother and father who were aware of the abuse, and who knew it had not stopped but thought more of the son than the girls lives he was ruining. So I took a breath and kept reading. I wasn’t shocked but sickened by what I read next. The parents gave excuses for the abuser…’oh sometimes the victims were clothed’ or ‘oh they were asleep or weren’t old enough to understand.’ Well I thought I was going to scream!

I am 37 years old and I can recall the first time he hurt me. I was about three, and for being asleep or clothed, when did that make abuse not abuse? I would love to know where these people got their facts. Ask any victim of sexual abuse what the impact has been on their lives because of the actions of another brother. I’m sure the impact has and is a great one in their lives and not in a positive way.

I always have and still do feel lesser of a family member just because my abuse wasn’t stopped but hidden, put under the rug. I was treated like the bad person while he was treated like gold. I don’t want other victims of abuse, especially those at the hands of family, to feel the same way. It is not your fault nor has it ever been. Anyone that tells you it is are the ones with the problem and in denial. To be honest I have been struggling with my past and have not disclosed. After reading this article I feel drawn to speak to others and let them know it is not our pain and shame anymore. We need to fight and put it back where it belongs to the abuser.

What bothers me most about the whole situation is the disregard for the victims mental health,or lives for that matter.Then to hear two of his sisters speak out saying they don’t consider him as a child molester….well then what the frig is he? It is not normal or right for a brother to touch a sister in that way with or without clothes on!! Asleep, awake, doesn’t make a difference. And to have had to tell his parents three times? Three times…just goes to show they have shown no regard for these victims and that hurts my heart. I know what these girls are doing because I’ve been there. They’ve been brainwashed to feel the bad person, or that if it ‘hurt them’ to get over it. Breaks my heart.

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But for God's grace

Obviously we can’t speak for these young women who are Josh Duggar’s siblings and victims. I do agree that the family is not helping the situation when they ‘speak out’ because I have yet to hear them back up the victims…I’m hearing a lot of backing and excuses for the brother/son. I can’t imagine the pain that is pulsating on all sides in this family. Being an incest survivor by the hands of my own grandfather I understand that desire to want to wish it away, the inability to look at this person who is on all outward accounts ‘normal’, loved, well-liked, etc. and then to associate them with such evil. Even as the victim I found that difficult because it doesn’t compute.

This topic is difficult because there are so many facets to reveal that abuse has kept covered. As I’ve said before God brings a greater good from every situation and I’m certain He will use this to help dig up the deepest darkest secrets of abuse and bring healing and hope to the world of victims.

Blessings

Shannon

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