We’ve spoken before about the Duggar family’s strange obsession with sex.
This fixation is one of the more bizarre aspects of their lifestyle, as it seems to run counter to Jim Bob’s evangelical belief system, which controls so much of what his kids think and say and do.
But when you take a large group of children and adolescents and make a really big deal out of something that’s off limits to them, it’s a safe bet that they’ll think about it a lot.
Needless to say, that’s exactly what happened with the Duggars … with disastrous results.
Often, when media outlets describe the Josh Duggar sex scandals, they do so in a way that centers the perpetrator instead of the victims.
You hear phrases like “Josh Duggar molested five young girls, four of whom were his sisters,” which remove the humanity of the traumatized children.
This story focuses on one of Josh’s victims, Jill Duggar, and the ways in which she’s dealt with being betrayed by the people who were supposed to protect her.
These days, Jill has cut ties with her parents, and while it’s unclear if the move had anything to do with their decision to protect Josh from prosecution, it seems clear that the abuse she endured is very much on her mind these days.
In a new interview with Us Weekly, Jill revealed that she and her husband, Derick DIllard, are teaching their kids about se ‘in an effort to protect them’.
The couple kicked things off in a lighthearted fashion, joking that the time has come for them to put a lock on their bedroom door,
“We’ve talked about that,” Jill told the outlet while promoting her YouTube channel.
“We really need to get [a lock] because the boys learned how to unlatch our door. … My parents had one on their door. It’s about time we did.”
From there, the conversation shifted to the more serious topic of keeping kids safe.
“We definitely want our kids also to have the ability to protect themselves,” Jill said.
“Knowledge is power and you would be amazed at a three and five-year-old — our kids now — just learning about their body,” she added.
“What our five-year-old might know, our three-year-old might not.”
As for the occasional awkward moment, Derick says they’ve learned to take them in stride:
“To kids, everything’s new, so it’s probably more embarrassing for the parent than the kid. Kids are like, “Well, I don’t have any reason to think this is an embarrassing topic,” he said.
“Growing up, we always learned the anatomical names for body parts and didn’t use colloquial names or euphemisms or whatever, which I think can protect against abuse,” Dillard continued.
“Because then whenever kids talk about things that went on, then people might not know what they’re talking about.
“But if you’re open and honest with your kids, they’ll feel comfortable talking to you. And if they say something happened, it’s very clear what happened.”
Jill added that she and Derick stress body autonomy in their lessons.
“In our bathroom, we have a little sign, “My Body Rules.” If there’s a babysitter here in our home, they’re gonna see that too,” she said.
This is obviously a far cry from the way that Jill and her siblings were raised — and that’s sort of the point.
The infamous Duggar courtship rules are so strict that couples aren’t even allowed to kiss before marriage.
And it seems obvious now that those rules backfired and resulted in serious psychological damage.
Clearly, Jill hopes that a less restrictive approach will have the opposite result.
And thankfully, someone is finally working to break the cycle of abuse within the Duggar family.
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