There has been a lot of criticism of TLC’s famed Duggar family in recent days. But I’d like to replace the public shaming of the family with a dialogue about the underlying issues at work in the scandal. I have a lot of stake in this discussion because there are similar issues at work in my own life. And I am not alone. The Duggars’ story stokes the fires of public outrage because it’s familiar. The sting of betrayal is particularly sharp when the perpetrator is a so-called
The word “victim” is a heavy label that follows a person—shaping an internal narrative about psychologically damaging events. “Survivor” is much better. There's a reason Gloria Gaynor's song (“I Will Surive”) persists as a cultural staple: the anthemic message is uplifting and champions the downtrodden and encourages them to pick themselves up and persevere. From personal experience, I can tell you that storytelling is cheap therapy. Even more importantly, it’s empowering.