TLC Releases Air Date & Details of Child Sex Abuse Special Featuring Duggar Daughters

jessa_jill_duggarBy Holly Rasmussen

TLC has set an air date for its new documentary “Breaking the Silence,” which will feature members of the Duggar family. The documentary, which is set to air commercial-free on August 30, is meant to raise awareness about child sexual abuse. As The Ashley previously reported, eldest Duggar child Josh recently admitted to molesting five young girls (four of whom were his sisters) while he was in his teens.

In the wake of the scandal, TLC cancelled the Duggars’ hit reality show 19 Kids and Counting and announced that it was putting together a documentary about child sexual abuse. Duggar daughters Jessa Seewald and Jill Dillard have come forward as two of Josh’s victims and will take part in the documentary.

The show aims to bring to light the challenges faced by those who have experienced sexual abuse. According to TLC, an estimated one in 10 children will be the victim of sexual abuse before the age of 18, with an estimated 42 million survivors in America today.

The show is being produced by NBC News’ Peacock Productions and TLC has teamed up with Darkness to Light and RAINN (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) to produce resources.

In addition to Jill and Jessa, the documentary will also feature Erin Merryn, a two-time sex abuse survivor who was the driving force behind “Erin’s Law” which makes age-appropriate curriculum on personal body safety mandatory for children in schools. Other participants include Terrae Lee, who was sexually abused by her father when she was 11 and is now a victim’s advocate and co-founder of the Young Survivor’s Foundation, and  Kaelin, an 11-year-old girl who is already speaking in public about her experiences. They will attend a prevention-training session conducted by Darkness to Light.

The Duggar family issued the following statement about the special.

“We look forward to working with TLC on this upcoming special documentary and hope that it is an encouragement to many,” the family stated.

Jill has been out of the country doing mission work with her husband Derick Dillard for the last month, but she flew back last weekend and spent some time in New York City, likely to film her segments for the documentary. She is now heading back to Central America to resume her mission work.

The show is set to air August 30, 2015 on TLC at 10:00 p.m. To watch a promo for the documentary special, click here.

17 Comments

  1. I think it’s wonderful (and needed) to advocate against child molestation – but – for TLC to be involved – especially after the fact of knowingly allowing the Duggar family to be documented on camera – which lead to them collecting millions of dollars – even though TLC was completely aware of the molestations – (Ophra’s network informed them of this matter) and then – to make matters worse – they allowed two victims from this family to take part in this documented tv show (for years) without stepping in or reporting this very serious information to the proper authorities – TLC also failed to seek help for the underage girl’s in this “family” that were molested – in my opinion TLC is just as bad as the molestor for knowing about this but doing nothing – instead – they chose to take this phony better than you family and cash in on them – and now, after the Duggar scandle – and also after two of the victims from this same family (Jess and Jill) still having the nerve to defend their molestor just because of his age and due to the fact that he is their brother – these two victims still need a lot of serious help before they can step up to help anyone else – first, a victim of child molestation does not defend a molestor – no matter who it is or how old they are – I for one would not watch this ridiculous documentary – it’s a black eye for child molestation in my opinion because of allowing two of the Duggar’s and TLC to be involved – it’s hard for anyone to take something serious especially when the representing party doesn’t – this is just another example of TLC using a situation – no matter how raw or serious – and lining their pockets for their own benefit!!!!!!!


      1. Okay, that was supposed to be a “sticking out tongue in disgust” emoticon. Not anything remotely excited-looking.


    1. I stated this below, but since you made comment about it, OWN, Oprah’s network, is joint a venture, 50/50 owned by Discovery, who owns TLC.

      There is an article I’ve found that announces it (the partnering)as early as January 16, 2008, titled “Oprah to launch TV network with Discovery
      Namesake talk show may make move in 2010 or 2011”

      Then, a Washington Post article (titled “A timeline of the molestation allegations against Josh Duggar”) posted May 23, 2015, breaks down a timeline of Duggar events:

      ‘Dec. 7, 2006: An anonymous tipster calls the Arkansas Child Abuse Hot­line, 3½ years after the first time the alleged offense was brought to police. Springdale Police reach out to the Duggar family to schedule interviews to investigate and are told that the family is in Chicago until Dec. 11.

      On the same day, an anonymous source sends an e-mail to Harpo Studios in Chicago. The e-mail seeks to warn Oprah Winfrey’s television program against airing a scheduled interview with the family because of the allegations. The producers of Oprah’s show passed along the e-mail to law enforcement.’

      Personally, I’m very surprised OWN/HARPO went into business with Discovery knowing FULL WELL what they knew, and more than a little disappointed.


  2. so they are getting paid to misrepresent what happened, talk about forgiveness and downplay the severity of incest and sexual molestation of minors??? how much more disgusting can this get???? even if they donated every single penny of this “special” to an organization that helps minors that have been molested i would still be disgusted because the girls are absolutely going to blatantly lie about what happened and just repeat whatever their sick mother and even sicker father have told them to say. i hope people call for a ban of TLC after this disgusting mess. i wonder if they will even do the obligatory public awareness hot line commercial for victims of abuse. if i were in advertising i would have cut ties with TLC a long time ago and absolutely after this mess.


  3. Truthfully I think having them on the show is a terrible decision. While they should have never had to experience what Josh did to them, they do not acknowledge the problem or really address the need to get help. Police documents disprove their stories and they water down what happened to them. I think if TLC wanted to help, they would get counseling for all the children (not published on TV) and work towards positive healing. The fact that they call it a mistake does not help any other girls/boys/etc that are victims of this type of horrible abuse. I don’t want to shame the Duggars, they are victims, however, I want them to feel empowered as survivors.


  4. Anyone else find this gross…and bizarre? It seems like TLC is trying to wipe its hands of the whole mess by airing this special. It’s like they are saying “We dropped the ball, but at least we’re raising awareness now.”


  5. I truly feel bad for those girls. While it is completely their right to forgive their brother and say they have moved forward, it appears forced to me. It doesn’t seem like they forgave and moved forward in a way that helped their healing- but in a manner that was manipulated by the Mom and Dad to protect Josh. Kind of like a “hey, they’re okay so why is it a problem!?” I’d hate to find out that they somehow turned this mess onto the girls and found a way to make them feel responsible or guilty about the situation, but I wouldn’t be surprised.


    1. I’m struck with the image of Jim Bob getting up in arms over one of the girls’ (I *think* Jennifer) ‘too-short’ dress in one of the early specials. Not only was the dress length still fine (it had the look of having been made ‘pre-growth spurt’, if anything) but the girl in question was about 2. It’ creeped me out a little.


  6. I’m not even reading this. They’re going to profit off of this for as long as they can. Think about the amount of sexual abuse, assault and harassment victims who never get to tell their story. Fuck these people. Fucking disgusting. I will never support anything else TLC produces.


    1. Agreed. TLC has been removed from Directv channel guide on all my TV’s, and I think I’ll go further and stop supporting all Owned by Discovery Communications channels. Yup, that includes Animal Planet (Bell Media owns 80%, Discovery owns 20%), OWN ((joint venture 50/50 owned by Discovery and HARPO), and of course, the various Discovery channels.


  7. They’re just going to defend him..it’s Disgusting the way Jim Bob has brainwashed them! We are Never going to like them again TLC ..why bother!?


    1. agreed. how disgusting that they will be paid to lie and deceive the public about what happened. i hope all advertisers pull their commercials from the network and they lose a lot of money of this disgusting documentary.


      1. Sadly, the documentary will air commercial free (who wants anything to do with the Duggars now?) but I get ya. It’d be great to see TLC/Discovery get hosed, period.

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