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Online anger after family confirms Josh Duggar molested four of his sisters and babysitter

Posted at 3:36 PM, Jun 04, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-04 16:48:13-04

One day after breaking their silence about a family sex abuse scandal, and the Duggars are under fire for describing their son Josh Duggar's actions as "inappropriate touching" and "nothing like rape."

Those comments were made Wednesday night by Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar during an interview with Megyn Kelly on Fox News. Moments later, the internet erupted in disgust and anger.

The Washington Post saying parents Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar cast themselves as martyrs, accusing the couple of downplaying the sexual abuse perpetrated by their eldest son Josh Duggar against four of his sisters and a former babysitter.

At age 14, Josh Duggar admitted to touching his victims. Rather than seeking professional help for their son, the Duggars sent Josh to a Christian-based training center in Arkansas.

Dr. Marisol Erlacher, a psychotherapist who works with victims of sexual abuse, says the lack of accountability is alarming.

"I was struck by how much they emphasized that it wasn't that big of a deal," said Dr. Erlacher. "I think it can impact the way people speak about it. It can impact the way people come out and tell their story."

Juveniles account for more than one-third of known sex offenders. Many begin abusing between the ages of 12 and 14, and target younger victims, according to the Department of Justice.

The good news is with clinical help close to 85 percent do not commit sex crimes after adolescence.

"I think the research is showing if there's an early intervention, you can have more positive results," said Dr. Erlacher.



"What's really important is people start to open up a dialogue about what's important in families in terms of talking about healthy sexuality, allowing children to speak about things that are difficult, and empowering children to make decisions about themselves and their bodies," said Dr. Erlacher.

People can find more information about child sexual abuse on Dr. Erlacher's website.

Fox News will air more of the Duggar interview on Friday evening.