What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here. Today’s guest post is by Anonymous.
When I was 8, my step-brother began sexually abusing me. The abuse lasted until I turned 14, when he finally was sent away to live with his mother due to drug abuse and bringing weapons to school. When I turned 22, I learned he also abused my sister, and his cousin and a family friend of mine. I never saw him again, and besides talking to these three other people about the abuse, I never told anyone. The Josh Duggar story is very close to me. It's actually a trigger. When I heard about it I had to stay away from facebook for a week. I'm writing because I want to talk about what I think should happen now. I think there needs to be a discussion about the rights of abused children. Children suffering abuse need to be protected. They should be segregated from their abusers, no matter the age of the offender. They need counseling and they need to know it wasn't their fault. There needs to be a frank discussion about the difference of forgiveness & reconciliation. People need to know what steps to take to when someone confesses abuse or abuse is found out. A lot of people are just talking about the outrage or the anger. I want to talk about what should happen next. I am an adult now. I have forgiven my brother, but I never want to see him again. I don't even want to hear about him. And the abuse has left a lingering impact on my life that I continue to struggle with. Being sexually touched by the person I love (my husband) leaves me feeling gross and with a desire to run away. My husband has never hurt me. I need to be verbally addressed before any sort of sexual contact, and I need not to be "randomly" touched. Every victim deals with abuse differently, and I think understanding the ramifications of abuse is an important topic to cover when talking about the Duggar issue. I am also outraged over whoever published anything about the identities of the victims. I would never be able to leave my house if suddenly everyone on the internet knew that one or two of the members of my family had been sexually abused by another. They should have kept all information regarding the victims private. I know there are a lot of Duggar girls. That is still no excuse. I am livid over whoever decided not to protect those girls. I thought people would like to read thoughts from the perspective of someone who has lived through sexual abuse as a minor by another minor. I don't know if this is helpful or not, but it's a start.