In a recent interview with PEOPLE magazine, Jill Duggar Dillard opened up about the anger she feels after her ‘invasion of privacy’ lawsuit was dismissed in 2022. She filed the lawsuit after a private police report from 2006 – which detailed her brother’s sexual abuse toward her and her sisters – was leaked.
As with any lawsuit, Jill was hoping those who leaked the report would be held accountable for their actions. She was left disappointed when her lawsuit was dismissed in February 2022 – three months before her brother was sentenced to 13 years in prison for receiving and possessing child pornography.
The dismissal of the lawsuit was painful for her and her sisters, who shared their story of sexual abuse in what was supposed to be a ‘safe place’ – meaning it wouldn’t be shared publicly. Unfortunately, that ‘safe place’ was taken from them when the police report was leaked – allowing anyone and everyone to read it.
“They were told as kids, ‘This is a safe place. What you say is safe.’ And it wasn’t true,” Jill’s husband, Derrick Dillard, said in the couple’s interview with PEOPLE. Jill said the leaked report and dismissed lawsuit are ‘still really upsetting’ to her and her three sisters, who feel they were betrayed by police.
The police report went public in 2015 and included accusations and an initial admittance by Josh Duggar (Jill’s brother) that he sexually abused four of his sisters. Jill and three of her sisters filed an ‘invasion of privacy’ lawsuit in 2017, but the case was postponed in Dec. 2021 and eventually dismissed in Feb. 2022.
“Our attorney said Josh’s sentencing was basically the nail in the coffin for our case. It was the same judge that handled his case. But there’s no reason it shouldn’t have gone to a jury trial. It was just one of those moments [with Josh] that was yet again disappointing,” Jill said of her lawsuit getting dismissed.
Jill and her husband, Derick, are set to release a memoir titled Counting the Cost on September 12 – where she details some of the secrets behind her family, who rose to fame with their hit 19 Kids and Counting reality TV show. In the book, she talks about the sexual abuse she received and her lawsuit.
Jill Duggar Dillard Won’t Stop Fighting for Victims’ Rights
While the ordeal has left Jill and her sisters with a lot of anger, she’s learning to use that anger for good and is committed to ensuring other victims aren’t disappointed and betrayed by the ‘system.’ She wants to help other victims find their voice, but also wants them to know their voice is being heard loud and clear.
“You have to just say, ‘You know what? Even though this system failed us as victims and our desire for justice, and all of these people who just used and abused their positions and were not held accountable, we are still going to fight for victims’ rights through Derick’s line of work,” she said of her new life mission.
She now works with victims on a daily basis and is committed to ensuring they don’t face the same fate she was faced with in the past. She wants victims to truly feel ‘safe’ when placed in a ‘safe place’ and wants them to know they can speak freely without it going public – something that was robbed from her.
“We hope and pray that going forward that nobody ever has to be in that position that we were in. I knew that writing the book, we would have to address some of that, but I didn’t want to go and rehash everything in detail because it is a very sensitive place for me,” she said – adding that her police report should’ve never gone public in the first place.
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