Shark Bait: The Battle Over the Duggar Family’s Children


There is something very troubling to me about airing the Duggar family’s dirty laundry. Does anyone else sense that there is something wrong on all fronts—and by fronts I mean on the Duggar’s side and on that of the news media, which includes In Touch Magazine which released sealed juvenile records? I can’t quite put my finger on what is causing me to squirm in my chair when I listen to the outrage from television news anchors calling the Duggars horrible names and making assumptions about the family of which I suspect they have no clue.

And I can’t wrap my head around why the Duggars have 19 children (can you?) and why they expose them to public scrutiny by hosting a reality TV show with or without Josh’s behavior hanging over them like a storm cloud.

For me the most egregious act in this whole affair (beyond Josh’s behavior) was the person who released the juvenile records to the media in the first place. It felt to me like the last vestiges of civil life had fallen in our country. We are no longer a nation of laws. We are no longer willing to protect the victims of sexual abuse—particularly children—and few children will ever be willing to come forward again because there is a law whose teeth only serve to bite the victims.

This is a serious issue our country must face, but we only choose to face it in doses, like sharks feeding on a school of baby fish. After spilling blood in the water, we retract into our protected perfect communities, content to know we made an impact by shouting out our discontent.

Many children grow into adulthood, living in the shadows, never fully accepting themselves as whole, beautiful human beings because of sexual abuse as a child. They are standing to the left and the right of you. They are teaching you, supervising you at work, and asking you for a dollar on the street.

Can we take a moment away from all the the accusations to find a way to bring healing to those who have been victimized, and paths to recovery for those who have the urge to violate the bodies of others?  It does truly begin with us and not with someone else. I just wish we could all accept that we can make a difference by really living in the world and not popping in and out of it like cartoon characters when someone violates our sacred space.


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