Duggar Scandal – Child Sexual Molestation

by Dr. Karen Ruskin on May 31, 2015

Many of the media outlets are discussing the Josh Duggar sexual molestation scandal. For those of you who are unfamiliar with his name, he is the oldest son of the TV show: ’19 Kids and Counting’.

What this family must have gone through and are now going through one can only imagine. Tabloids are what they are, right? Celebrity news from a gossip angle. Although that is the case, I wish to take a moment to share that even the tabloids at times look for genuine therapeutic insights to share with their readers, in conjunction with reporting the scandal of the day. With that in mind, I sincerely appreciate that Star Magazine contacted me and asked for my reaction to the Josh Duggar tragedy. My interview is in the June 8th 2015 issue on page 45. (Star Magazine I find contacts me often looking for helpful insights for their readers, and for that I truly appreciate. As I recognize that touching the lives of others can be achieved through the print media, and many people do enjoy reading about celebrity gossip).  

Get Help If You Are Or Have Been Sexually Molested

When news such as this comes out to the public, I feel it is my duty as a mental health professional, as a marriage and family therapist to share insights. For someone who is in the public eye such at the Duggar family, they are not alone. For an example there are those of whom are watching this news unfold of whom may have been molested as a child and told no one, or have disclosed this information, or perhaps are a child and currently in trauma. As such, perhaps in some small way that person seeing this on the news, it will help them to recognize that getting help is not something to fear, rather it is something to embrace.

When it comes to the sexual molestation of one’s sibling/siblings there are cases in which there is sexual exploration and the child does not feel he/she is doing anything wrong. There are cases in which the child knows what he/she is doing is wrong, and is lacking in remorse. There are other cases in which the child knows what he/she is doing is wrong, and although recognizes he/she should not be acting out on this impulse, they find themselves unable to control their impulse. There are cases in which the molester was molested by someone else and now in turn is acting out on what he/she had or is experiencing. Then there are other cases in which the molester has not been molested and he/she is acting out on one’s own mentally ill behavior. These are just but a few scenarios that happens in cases in which an older child sexually molests a younger sibling/siblings. Whichever scenario a family experiences, professional help is an absolute must – and for all those involved. The victim of the child sexual molestation would need counseling when such an act has been commited. The molester must get help too, in my strong opinion (even if the molester didn’t think he/she was doing anything wrong). Parents and siblings involved all  need help, for sexual molestation touches the lives of the family in a very systemic way.

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