The Duggars' Homeschooling Method Blames Victims In Abuse

Photo: Rex USA
How surprising is it that the Duggar family did their darndest to cover up the fact that their eldest son, Josh, molested five girls, including some of his sisters? Not very, to anyone familiar with the Advanced Training Institute, the homeschooling method the 19 Kids and Counting family used for their brood. First, there's the fact that the institute's founder, Bill Gothard, has himself been accused of molesting four women, and harrassing 34 women.

There's an entire website, called Recovering Grace, devoted to the young people who suffered abuse while being raised with the ATI's teachings. That site is the source of a document from the late 1990s, which was sent to ATI families to address sexual abuse in the home, based on the case of another boy who admitted to molesting his younger siblings, years before Duggar's 2002 incidents.  It equates the "tragedy" of that boy's actions with the damage done to the family's reputation and implies that part of the blame lies in the immodesty of his baby sisters and the fact that he was asked to change their diapers. Another document outlines how to counsel victims of sexual abuse. It asks whether God might have let abuse happen because of the victim's "immodest dress," "indecent exposure," or even "being evil with friends." If the victim is not to blame (!!!), he or she should be taught that being physically abused will lead to having a stronger spirit.

Photo courtesy RecoveringGrace.com
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We have no idea if these documents were literally followed by the Duggars themselves. But they have treated this situation as if it's an indiscretion best left in the past. "When Josh was a young teenager, he made some very bad mistakes, and we were shocked," Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar said in a statement to People. "We had tried to teach him right from wrong. That dark and difficult time caused us to seek God like never before."

None of their words address the trauma done to their daughters, and the statements on the family Facebook page only address how this affects the abuser, Josh, who wrote:  "I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life." What about the lives of the girls he has admitted to assaulting?

Thankfully, TLC has finally seen the light and pulled 19 Kids and Counting from its schedule. Seeing women treated this way does not belong in the category of entertainment anymore.      

Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee Supports Josh Duggar
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