Jill & Jessa Duggar Identify the Real Problem With Josh's Molestation Scandal

The Josh Duggar molestation scandal has been dominating the news for the past couple of weeks, but so far, we haven't heard from the most important people involved in the 12-year-old case -- the victims. Duggar sisters Jill Dillard and Jessa Seewald sat down with Fox News host Megyn Kelly on Friday night, and finally told their side of the story.


Jill and Jessa both outed themselves as victims earlier this week, although we already knew at least one of them was from the 33-page 2006 police report obtained by In Touch Weekly. In it, four of the five alleged victims identified Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar as their parents, and since there were only five Duggar daughters at that point, we could conclude that only one of the girls had escaped Josh's "inappropriate touching."

When Kelly asked why they decided to come forward and do the interview, Jill, 24, explained, "We didn't chose to come out and tell our story ... as we've been seeing these headlines, as victims, we have to come out and speak. No one asked us to do this." She continued, "There are lies out there, we want to set the record straight."

More from The Stir: Duggars Reveal the Drastic 'Safeguards' Used to Keep Girls Safe After Molestation

Jessa said that while she felt what Josh did was "very wrong," she wanted to defend her eldest brother too. She said, "I do want to speak up in his defense against people who are calling him a child molester or a pedophile or a rapist, some people are saying ... I'm like, 'That is so overboard and a lie really.' I mean people get mad at me for saying that, but I can say this because I was one of the victims."

She also pointed out that Josh was a boy who made some bad choices, which included "mild, inappropriate touching over clothes." Jill added, "In our case, it was very mild, compared to what happens to some."

Both girls recognized that while what Josh did was wrong, it wasn't a "horror story," as reported by the media. In fact, they didn't villainize Josh at all -- they had a different perpetrator in mind.

More from The Stir: Twitter Blasts Michelle and Jim Bob for Caring More About Josh Than Their Girls

When asked how they felt when they got the news that In Touch had released the supposedly sealed police record, Jessa admitted,"We were pretty furious."

Jill broke down in tears talking about how she felt about the news coming out now, twelve-plus years after the fact. She said she called her husband Derick Dillard when she heard that the police report was being published. "We're victims, they can't do this to us," she sobbed.

Jessa agreed that the system failed them. "There's obviously some hokey-pokey going on there," she said in regard to the private family matter becoming public.

Neither girl claimed to be sitting on some huge secret for years. They said the only time they had ever even felt slightly shameful or embarrassed about what happened was when the DHS investigated in 2006. They said that their parents told them that it was a safe place, and that they should be as straight-froward and honest with the law enforcement officials as possible. They said they were told that it would become part of a sealed record, so they didn't need to worry about getting anyone in trouble.

More from The Stir: Duggar Interview: Michelle Did What Any Good Mother Would Have Done With Josh

Months later, the sisters claimed that the investigators even complimented the family on their home being "a safe place for children." Jill said, "Even when we went through the DHS investigation they complimented my parents on what an amazing job they did through that process."

They said that what they've been through the past two weeks is exponentially worse than what they went through with Josh as children. Jessa said, "I see it as a re-victimization that's even a thousand times worse." She continued, "It's not the truth -- everything was distorted -- and we felt like our story wasn't being told."

"The victims are the only one that can speak for themselves," she insisted.

It was obvious that girls had clearly moved on, and were very upset that this private matter had been brought to the public's attention. I think that they made it abundantly clear that they had forgiven Josh, and that he had worked hard to regain their trust over the years.

More from The Stir: 10 Biggest Revelations From the Duggars' Interview With Megyn Kelly

They talked about the safeguards that their parents put in place for them, and confirmed that they had been to a professional, licensed therapist, who helped them "get closure" about the matter.

Jill even said that as a mom now (to Israel David, born in April), she hopes that she would act as responsibly as her own mom if faced with the same situation down the road.

I think the girls hit the nail on the head with the real problem -- sealed juvenile reports were released more than a decade after the fact, after the authorities had cleared them, and no other incidents took place. The girls said that they felt safe talking to investigators about their brother, because they believed that the information was confidential.

How many other people will hear this story, and decide not to come forward about being molested, out of fear that they'll be re-victimized some point down the line? Keeping the victims safe should be our main priority, and the Duggar girls were clearly let down in this regard.

Do you think the tabloids had a right to release that police report?


Image via Duggar Family Official/Facebook

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