Long before Josh Duggar was convicted on child pornography charges and sentenced to 151 months in prison, he began preying on victims within his own family.
While still in his teens, Josh molested five young girls, four of whom were his sisters.
As though the attacks themselves weren’t enough to make the girls feel unsafe in their own home, Josh’s parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, did nothing to prevent further assaults.
In fact, they went to great lengths to protect their son from suffering any sort of legal repercussions.
Jill Duggar is Josh’s sister and one of his earliest victims.
On Tuesday, Jill’s debut memoir will hit stores, and the mother of three has given some of the most candid interviews of her career while promoting the book.
Previously, Jill revealed that she received paltry wages for her work on her family’s reality shows.
Now, Jill and husband Derick Dillard are opening up like never before about the trauma she suffered as a result of her brother’s predatory behavior.
“It’s still really upsetting,” Jill recently told People magazine.
“They were told as kids, ‘This is a safe place. What you say is safe.’ And it wasn’t true,” Derick chimed in.
Jill and her sisters sued their local police department after Josh’s legal records were released to the media, but the 32-year-old says she doesn’t expect to receive any satisfaction on that score.
“Our attorney said Josh’s sentencing was basically was the nail in the coffin for our case,” Jill said.
“It was the same judge that handled his case. But there’s no reason it shouldn’t have gone to a jury trial. It was just one of those moments [with Josh] that was yet again disappointing.”
Jill says she still experiences moments of intense anger toward her brother, but she believes that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
“People are quick to say, ‘Oh, anger is bad,’ but I’m like, ‘No, anger can be a good thing.’ Especially when it propels you to advocate for people finding their voice,” Jill explained.
“You have to just say, ‘You know what? Even though this system failed us as victims and our desire for justice, and all of these people who just used and abused their positions and were not held accountable, we are still going to fight for victims’ rights through Derick’s line of work.”
“I work with victims now every day and try and make sure the same thing doesn’t happen to them,” Derick elaborated.
“We want to try and protect them, and actually try and make sure that we can follow up and be genuine when we say, ‘This is a safe place.’”
Jill went on to say that writing the book was not an easy process, but she felt an obligation to speak out on behalf of others who have been victimized.
“We hope and pray that going forward that nobody ever has to be in that position that we were in,” Jill told People.
“I knew that writing the book, we would have to address some of that, but I didn’t want to go and rehash everything in detail because it is a very sensitive place for me,” she continued.
“It was stuff that never should have been released in the first place. So yes, it still makes me so upset.”
As we reported earlier this week, Josh’s lawyers have launched a new effort to appeal his sentence after their previous request for a new trial was denied.
Josh’s lawyers scored a minor victory last week when they received a 14-day extension on their deadline to file a new petition.
It’s still unlikely that Josh will be granted a new trial, and even more unlikely that he’ll be acquitted.
But the mere prospect is likely enough to trigger anxiety in his many victims.