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Jessa (Duggar) Seewald and Jill (Duggar) Dillard returned to TLC on Sunday night to speak about child sexual abuse in the wake of the revelation that they had been molested as children by their brother. Josh Duggar, 27, allegedly molested the two women, two of their sisters and a babysitter when he was a teenager.
In the one-hour, commercial-free documentary Breaking the Silence, the sisters — along with their mother, Michelle Duggar — attended a seminar hosted by Darkness Into Light, an organization dedicated to preventing child sexual abuse.
The women didn’t address their own sexual abuse in the doc — or the latest scandal involving their brother, who is currently spending time at a Christian rehab center to address treatment for his sexual issues following the unrelated revelation resulting from the Ashley Madison hack that he had sought extramarital affairs. Instead, the Duggars focused on the importance of awareness of the issue of childhood sexual abuse.
“I feel like this should be a discussion that people are having, even regularly,” said Jessa, 22, who is currently pregnant with her first child. “I think that it shouldn’t be a taboo subject, and that we should be bringing awareness to child sexual abuse, and talking about this.”
Jill, 24, added, “It was amazing to understand that there are so many people that deal with the exact same thing in their own families, so just being educated is very good.”
Several other victims of childhood sexual assault appeared with the Duggar women on Breaking the Silence. Erin Merryn, who was abused by two men as a child, and is now pressing for the passage of Erin’s Law, which requires schools to provide age-appropriate curricula on sexual abuse. Dancing with the Stars’ Cheryl Burke and actress Teri Hatcher also appeared to discuss their own experiences and the need for more awareness about the issue.
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