The Duggars have been front and center in the media since word of their son--Josh Duggar's--sexual molestations of five underage girls while he was a teenager, hit the media. Now the Duggars are thrust into the media yet again with this week's announcement that TLC has cancelled their reality show. The network announced on Thursday that they have cancelled 19 Kids and Counting.
According to the Crimes Against Children Research Center, one in five girls and one in 20 boys become victims of sexual abuse. Three out of four young people who are sexually assaulted are victimized by an older sibling or someone they know well.
The American Academy of Pediatrics believes that when a child reports sexual abuse to a parent, the parent or parents must take it seriously. They must also contact a local child protection agency or local law enforcement officials.
That said, it's hard to know which of these infractions weighed more heavily upon TLC when deciding whether or not to ditch the Duggars from their TV lineup. Were they more concerned with the fact that Josh Duggar is a known child molester or with Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar's means of handling the situation?
— Newsday (@Newsday) July 17, 2015
Marjorie Kaplan is the group president of TLC, Animal Planet and the Velocity networks. In a recent interview with the Associated Press, she had the following to say.
"We took it as an opportunity to step further than just 'How do we protect ourselves?' and step into 'How do we protect our audience and protect children?'" Kaplan explained. "Our hope is to do more of that, in a way that's thoughtful and respectful of the victims of child abuse--in the Duggar family and across America."
— Adweek (@Adweek) July 16, 2015
TLC has made plans to feature the Duggars--including Jill Duggar Dillard and Jessa Duggar Seewald, who are both admittedly victims of Josh Duggar's sexual abuse--in an upcoming special documentary that deals with sexual abuse. RAINN (short for the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) and Darkness to Light are both advocacy groups that will be partnering with TLC for the documentary.
The Duggars have appeared on TLC since 2008.