Jill Dillard (nee Duggar) and sister Jessa Duggar Seewald are admitted sexual molestation victims of their brother Josh Duggar. In a TLC special that aired Sunday, the Duggar sisters, along with their mom Michelle Duggar, vowed to raise awareness for sexual abuse and its victims.
The hour-long special, called Breaking the Silence, made no mention of Josh Duggar, and it was filmed before his Ashley Madison cheating scandal made news. Jill Dillard and Jessa Duggar Seewald didn’t address their specific situation, but acknowledged the need for more awareness.
“I feel like this should be a discussion that people are having, even regularly,” Jessa said. “I think that it shouldn’t be a taboo subject and that we should be bringing awareness to child sexual abuse and talking about it.”
— EntertainmentTonight (@etnow) August 31, 2015
“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,” Jill Dillard added.
Michelle Duggar was impressed by both of her daughters.
“I was so glad that my girls and I were able to do this together,” she said. “And that we could just be a support and encouragement to each other to be able to gain more information about this important topic.”
Jill Duggar Dillard and Jessa Duggar Seewald weren’t the only sexual abuse victims on the TLC special. Teri Hatcher of Desperate Housewives fame and Cheryl Burke of Dancing With the Stars fame–as well as other advocates–were featured, too.
— Yahoo TV (@YahooTV) August 31, 2015
“Dance was my escape from reality,” Cheryl Burke said. “I was able to start building my confidence and know that I don’t need anybody to be happy. I just needed just me. I needed to know that I could do this on my own. I’m proof that you can actually move on from this.”
If even one person was helped by listening to Jill Dillard, Jessa Duggar Seewald, or the others involved in Breaking the Silence, then TLC has done a great service in raising awareness for this most necessary cause.
Do you think Jessa Seewald and Jill Duggar appeared on this show for the right reasons, however? Might they have agreed to do so in an effort to save their family’s reality show, 19 Kids and Counting? TLC hadn’t yet cancelled the show when the Duggars agreed to appear.