With Josh Duggar’s recent guilty verdict from his child pornography charges I started thinking about what might have been in his case? If only, his parents when they had immediately acted and got him professional help when he was allegedly found to have sexually abused two of his sisters. Instead, like many parents they took him to their pastor or religious leader for counseling concerning his abusive behavior. No professional help. Too many try to sweep these abusive acts under the rug for a variety of reasons. Most of the time they do so out of fear.  I certainly do not fault them because the Duggars like so many parents are simply at a loss as to what to do when confronted by sibling sexual abuse. At least they did try to address in likely was the best way that they knew how, but unfortunately this is not the kind of help that Josh and so many like him need.

During my years of treating sibling sexual abuse offenders I know that if placed in a specialized treatment program the success rates of leaving their abusive behaviors behind is extremely high. The latest estimates according to Dr. James Worling have that number somewhere between 95-98%. I saw many success stories in my time treating adolescent offenders. I think that Josh Duggar would have had a higher probability of turning his life around and leaving these problems behind if he would have been placed in one of these kinds of program when he was teenager. However, like so many today they don’t receive the treatment that could have helped them and we see these kinds of sad cases where children are abused, exploited, traumatized and the sad and damaging cycle continues. We all need to do better. We need to end the silence and stigma about sibling sexual abuse. It’s not enough to get an offending sibling to talk to someone at church or at school, or to promise to stop doing it, we need to take action. They need specialized treatment. Often, they need to leave the home for a time to get the treatment they need, perhaps most importantly so that their sibling who they victimized can heal and feel safe during the healing process.

Let us all work together to talk about SSA. The harm that it causes, the damage being done to children and families and demand more from our communities and politicians. Lets create funds so that parents who cannot afford to send their offending child into treatment or their survivor child the funds to be able to get everyone in the family the treatment they need.

Written by : bradwatts44

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