Everyone is baffled by the Duggars response to the shocking molestation scandal caused by their eldest son, Josh. Now, HollywoodLife.com has EXCLUSIVELY learned from a family therapist exactly why the family — including victims Jill and Jessa — are brushing it all off.
When Josh Duggar, now 28, confessed to allegedly molesting four of his own sisters and a fifth girl, his parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, felt that ignoring the problem would make it go away. Unfortunately it never did, and instead it came back with a vengeance in 2015 when his horrific police report was released online. Family therapist Steve Ornstein explained EXCLUSIVELY to HollywoodLife.com that “denial” is common because “real feelings” are too painful for victims.
“Victims of this kind of abuse carry a lot guilt and shame that they somehow have some responsibility in what happened to them,” Steven Ornstein tells HollywoodLife.com EXCLUSIVELY, explaining one of the many reasons why the Duggar family seems to be brushing off Josh’s molestation past. The therapist also shared that the Duggars response to the shocking scandal that rocked their family is “not surprising.”
“The parents also have intense pressure to save the brand and status in the community,” Steve explained further. “The girls feel responsible for what happened, so they go on these news programs and minimize what really happened. You have to realize they have been trained in how to keep this a family secret for all these years.” Unfortunately, Jessa and Jill have not been awarded the freedom of being honest now that the dirty family secret is out — instead, they have to continue to hide how they really, truly feel.
If you’ve been following the family’s scandal, you know that Josh’s youngest victim was another one of his sisters who was just 5 years old at the time of the incident. We asked Steve whether or not a child that young would remember being violated, and, sadly, he assured us that they absolutely would. “She will need to be assessed and will have to have treatment as well as the family,” he shared.
FYI: Family therapist Steve Ornstein has not treated the Duggar family.
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — How do YOU feel about the Duggar family minimizing this major scandal? Comment below with your thoughts.
— Lauren Cox, with reporting by Sandra Clark