Dear Jessa and Jill Duggar

Dear Jessa Seewald and Jill Dillard,

I have heard about the incidents of Josh molesting five girls when he was fourteen years old. In our current media climate in which the same story is played over and over and over again, with “experts” commenting on topics they truly know little about, I’m sorry that you have had to listen to everyone’s opinion about something very personal, traumatic, and difficult that happened to you. I’m sorry you felt the pressure from your family and the media to out yourselves as victims.

I don’t know if you were ready to come out as victims/survivors right now (I’m trying to avoid making assumptions about you and your experiences because I’m sure you’ve been getting lots of that lately). But I am sorry that you had to come out on a public platform, during a tumultuous and highly charged time. I’m sorry your survivorhood is being used by conservatives to push a right-wing agenda and being used by liberals to criticize and condemn that agenda. I’m sorry your survivorhood is being used as a pawn in a largely political game.

You are right. “The system was set up to protect kids” but it has greatly failed. I’m sorry that you have had to work this out in public. I’m sorry that you haven’t been exposed to a variety of counseling methods and have been able to choose the one that works best for you. I’m sorry that while your molester didn’t have to appear in an interview with Megyn Kelly, you did, to save your family and what you thought was important. I’m sorry you felt the need to come out as victims before you were ready. I’m sorry that the burden to restore your family’s image falls on you.

I may not agree with you ideologically or politically. But I do hope that you are taking care of yourselves during this time. I hope that you are taking the time and given the space to heal.