A few months ago, when the news initially broke about Josh sexually abusing his sisters and others, I wrote a post that examined some of the reasons why his parents were able to cover up what he’d done so effectively: the purity culture they raised their children in blames women for their own assaults. Specifically, they used a program created by Bill Gothard, a man known for sexually harassing women and minors (Josh Duggar received his “counseling” from Gothard’s ministry). This program is known as the Advanced Training Institute (ATI).
I was able to include some of the material that laid out ATI’s approach to counseling abuse victims, and it is horrific. Well, today I’d like to share a few more pieces of information, because it lays out all the reasons why the Duggars (or anyone like them) should not be allowed within spitting distance of TLC’s upcoming documentary.
Do you know what provokes attacks?
- Evaluate Dress
- Choose friends Wisely
God has established some very strict guidelines or responsibility for a woman who is attacked. She is to cry out for help. The victim who fails to do so is equally guilty with the attacker.
I decided a long time ago that if that is who God is, I want nothing to do with them. That God is an absolute monster, but that’s the sort of God that fundamentalist families like the Duggars believes exists.
A woman was startled one night by an intruder who broke into her apartment. The attacker stated his intentions, and she replied “You’ll have to kill me first because I’ve given my body and my life to the Lord.”
In this culture it is actually preferable for a woman to die than to “lose her virginity,” even through rape.
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The Duggars aren’t the only family in America to follow and believe these ideas. The ATI annual conferences see thousands of attendees, and the intersections between fundamentalist Christianity and conservative politics are numerous and influential. This isn’t something we can hold up as an example of extreme fundamentalism gone so wrong it’s easy to make fun of. This shit is serious, and important, because the people who believe these things aren’t fringe. Misogyny and victim-blaming are part of the core values of the homeschooling and Tea Party movements, and that shouldn’t be dismissed.