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The Ruling On Our Case & What It Means Going Forward

The Ruling On Our Case & What It Means Going Forward

While we appreciate the hard work the Court has put into our case and we highly respect the Judge, we are disappointed with the ruling that the City and County’s statutory immunity protects them from our claims. 

It is unfortunate that bad actors, under the guise of public service, are given a license to intentionally inflict pain without regard for innocent victims. Immunity exists to protect public servants in the event of human error. It is not to be used as an excuse to cause intentional harm.  

Kathy O’Kelley abused her authority by illegally releasing police reports.  This blatant disregard for the law only underscores the need for tougher accountability of our government officials in many regions of the country.  The level of immunity allowed in many jurisdictions is unsettling, and it is scary what evil is allowed to go unchecked simply because of a position someone holds and the statutory immunity they can claim. 

Public service should not be a haven for individuals seeking to fulfill their own personal vendetta.  Civil servants should not be allowed to weaponize their authority by disregarding the rule of law only before claiming immunity.  It is imperative that everyone in public service be vetted for their integrity and commitment to the people they serve.  

We appreciate the hard work the Court has put into our case and feel vindicated by the fact that the Judge recognized that the law was clear that the records never should have been released.  As the Court so poignantly put it, “[i]f the question is whether Defendants were ignorant of the law or grossly negligent in its application, the answer is:  Absolutely.” 

The Judge has made it crystal clear that the reports were illegally released.  This should have never happened, and we hope this never happens again to anyone.  It is what compelled Derick to change careers and pursue law school in the first place, and we will continue to fight for victims’ rights.  In the pursuit of justice, the impact on victims, especially child sex victims, should not be an afterthought, and they should not be relegated to collateral damage.  Victims need to be supported and protected, not hung out to dry simply because the end justifies the means.  They have been blamed, shamed, and bullied into silence for too long, so why are we surprised that perpetrators continue to be emboldened while victims are punished for their voice.  This needs to change, and only then can victims become survivors.    

Photo credit: Anete Lusina from Pexels

The photos above are considered the property of the Dillard Family and may only be used with their written permission. Please request permission to use the photos.

39 Comments

  1. H

    Sorry…
    Again your public admonishment of strangers is stronger than your public admonishment of the perpetrator and those who kept him in a cycle of sickening behaviour (until his incarceration). I appreciate what you are saying here, but it does not hold the weight you think it does – considering the big picture of the whole fiasco.

    The karma of the situation is that your father chased money at all costs and you all got caught up in people doing the exact same thing. People profiting off your family’s name. Ironic.

    If you want to make your mark on society, pick your battles wisely. Go after the people who commit sexual interference and then you eliminate any potential revictimization.

    (If we’re criticizing hiring practices, your own family should have been better vetted before receiving a national platform. Discovery Health should have conducted better due diligence surrounding the problematic beliefs, practices & culture of your parent’s beloved IBLP/Bill Gothard cult. As well as any past criminal behaviour of your family members. If they’d have known, your whole family would be living in obscurity. What is done in the dark… blah, blah, blah. Be more upset about that. Please.)

    Reply
    • Erin

      Amen ^

      Reply
    • kim

      No Matter what – Victims name should NEVER have been released. I dont care who the people are… You have no idea how upset they were could have been… God Forbid if you or anyone you care about is ever is a crime victim…

      Reply
    • Jenny

      So you would be ok with this if it was you? Victims should put aside their hurt & pain because after all, the perpetrator is the one everyone should focus on, including the victim? You sound like you’re saying that once someone is abused, if they don’t focus all their attention on the abuser’s punishment then they have no business fighting for their own rights as victims. This is very, very insensitive and unfair.

      Reply
    • Mary

      H-,
      That is the dumbest and most insensitive thing anyone could ever say to a victim of abuse! Do you actually believe what you are saying? Are you seriously saying that she should care more about her parents’ decisions, her abuser’s choices, and a network’s hiring practices rather than the fact that her abuse as a CHILD was made public by a system that should have protected her?Who gave you the authority to determine what the victim should prioritize? Maybe put yourself in the victim’s shoes (if you are even capable). Care more about the victim, instead of your opinions on what the victim should care most about. While you’re at it, please tell the 5 year old with Christian parents who is being molested by her brother, uncle, dad, sister, etc., that she should be more upset that this happened within a Christian home than her own abuse and right to be protected by public servants whose job is to protect the welfare of children. Instead of offering compassion and empathy…understanding that Jill was the “casualty of war” in this situation because of the choices of people around her, you’ve chosen to re-victimize a survivor of abuse with a message meant only to shame. Instead of applauding her for her bravery for taking action and trying to make right was wrong, you shame her for not prioritizing YOUR beliefs on who is at fault. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Also…this post was not about the role of her parents, TLC hiring policies, etc. STAY FOCUSED! THIS POST was about the court’s decision on the case regarding the release of sealed records regarding sexual abuse victims. The records should not have been released period. It doesn’t matter who you are, your public or family status, etc. But, since you’re GOD, you must know her thoughts on EVERY aspect related to her abuse. PRIDE anyone? SMH. Forgive them Father for THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO! You’re welcome!

      Reply
      • H

        M – Stand by what I said. The words against a perpetrator should always be stronger than that of a leak that the Court deemed unintentional. If Josh hadn’t done what he did and the parents hadn’t spewed that brainwashed nonsense to their daughters – there would be ZERO re-victimization. The Duggars put themselves out there and no one would have cared otherwise OR if they hadn’t held themselves up as the epitome of a strong, principled Christian family. Michelle’s robocall should be considered an exercise in gross hypocrisy.

        You reap what you sow. Take it up with, Jim Bob, darlin’.

        Reply
    • Lisa V.

      There is no Karma when it comes to victims, how incredibly offensive to read such words directed towards the victim of a crime. Please, educate yourself on where the real harm lays within mindsets such as yours and direct your anger and frustration towards the perpetrator rather than those who are left in the wake.

      Reply
    • Sam

      Very insensitive- stinking thinking-try helping people heal rather then pour salt into their open wounds.

      Reply
    • No name pleade

      “H” it sounds like you don’t give a care about victims of sexual abuse! As someone who survived such abuse, I say shame on you!

      Reply
    • Betty Ellis McGuire

      #TeamJill

      Reply
    • Deborah Davis

      Oh I just love your opinion thank you God you’re disgusting

      Reply
    • Nanette

      Good grief, what an emotional rant. The Dillard’s made clear their thoughts concerning the verdict.

      Reply
    • Nevermind

      You mentioned “karma”. While I don’t ascribe to such, it will be interesting to know how you handle the situation when it affects your loved ones. And it just might.

      Reply
    • B

      You sound so ignorant.

      Reply
    • Malana

      Jill i am proud of you and your sisters. The courts are not always fair. They are suppose to protect the innocent! I think your attitude bis Godly anf your heart is forgiving. Those attributes are so much more than one cld ever know. Im sorry for your hurt and disappointment. But i hope you girls know that yall are not to blame and you were indeed victimized and your fans who have followed since day one. Stand with you all. I pray your forgiveness and love toward others gives you the hope and peace you all deserve. Please dont let any negative and ignorant comments rob you of the peace Jesus has given you! Yall are very special!

      Reply
  2. Jesika Scheffer

    I am so sorry that you and Derick and your sons have had such a difficult journey these past few years… for surely, as much as you’ve fought to protect your boys, it has affected you all. I know sharing such private pain has been difficult, but you have helped countless others to find their voice. You have paid a very steep price in using that voice, but I believe God has used this to assist others in their own survival journey. Survivors should have the right to choose when, where, how and if they want their story told. I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse as well as being a survivor of incest. Parts of my story have remained hidden from all but my children to protect my brothers family, but I’ve always been in control of who I tell and how I tell my story. I am profoundly sorry that you were robbed of this right. There are those of us who follow your life from afar. You’ll probably never meet me or see my face, but I just want to express that your testimony in Christ still shines bright, I’m so proud of Derick for putting in all the hard work to get thru law school, and I’m so blessed to see your little family thriving and growing in Christ. There are many of us nameless and faceless people who pray for you and want the best for you. Rest assured that those who have born false witness against you will be dealt with in Gods time. You’d have to be living under a rock to not know how hard these past two years must’ve been for you. Do I rejoice in seeing all that your entire family has gone through? No. But I am glad that justice will be served. The Bible clearly says that what is done in secret will be brought to light and that none should cause the little ones to suffer. As horrendous as this whole thing is… God will use it for His glory regardless. Standing up for yourselves has given others courage to do the same. I pray Gods joy and peace to reign in your hearts.

    Reply
    • Granny

      Amen!! ^

      Reply
  3. Kari

    Thank you Jill and Derrick for caring about victims rights! I feel the same as you. The justice system, is just a system. Rarely is there justice. Something needs to change! Thank you for using your voice for good! Kari

    Reply
    • Sue

      I could not have said it better!

      Victims do have rights and they should not be blamed, shamed or silenced because of who they are, where they came from or how they were raised.

      Thank you Jill and Derrick for all you do for victims rights!

      Reply
    • Karen Billingsley

      agree!!!

      Reply
  4. Nan

    Judge not.

    Reply
    • Bettina

      What i is meant by this? Don’t hold those in places of responsibility responsible?,

      Reply
  5. Natalie Robinson

    I am so sorry that in so many ways you have not been protected as a former victim also there is extra layers of pain that go into a situation when it is a family member who abuses you and when that family is religious there is this driving need to protect the criminal to make everything very hush-hush to minimize it and make it go away the victims are ignored as if they have no stake we expect the law to protect us even if our families don’t and our church doesn’t and our friends don’t when that safeguard fails it is yet another trauma we then have to process we should all recognize that of course you hold others responsible including the criminal himself and others that protected him instead of you that doesn’t take away that the law should also be protective of you I hope as you continue to grow and heal you will find strength in your voice and your voice will be able to make changes proud of you hugs♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️

    Reply
  6. True

    I fully support your statement. Government officials are allowed to abuse their authority and don’t seem to carry any responsibility for unlawful actions. Even the Judge made it clear that this woman’s actions were illegal. She should have been called accountablef for it and for the harm it brought to so many people. Shame on her.

    Reply
  7. Trudy

    Well said Jill, I Pray change will come and that. Ictims are not continually victimized due to peoples errors! These people were trained and obviously should never have been in their positions; it does t take a genius to know what is right or wrong to release! They should have put their daughter, sister or friend into the equation and these statements should never have been released plain and simple!
    God Bless you and your sisters…….

    Reply
  8. Deborah Barber

    Just hush.

    Reply
  9. Nicole

    Yes, yes, in all the ways Jill. The violations are profound and sickeningly irresponsible. The implications for future comprehensive law training and knowledge in hiring practices are abundant and clear.

    I pray for you, and all members of your immediate and extended family. I pray for all those involved in this story, your story. As a victim of rape myself (for I shall call it what it was), I pray that you are able to stand tall and firm in your feelings (because they matter) and speak your truth to those who stood by and did nothing or belittled your sexual assault all those years ago, just as you have in this post. Those who dismissed your personal choice, freedoms, and took liberty to decide what your justice should look like. Perhaps you already have, but it is not for anyone to know but you.

    I pray that your parents understand the gravity of the decisions they made, for accountability is 360 measure and begins at home. But whether they do or not, forgiveness is for you and no one else! You were worthy of so much more back then, and today is it yours to claim.

    With love,
    Nicole

    Reply
  10. Charlene

    Thank you for speaking of for victims. The people above who were talking about trying to stop perpetrators must not understand that the lack of victims rights is one of the main reasons most survivors say nothing. If we want to end abuse we have to make it safe for survivors to report. Plus no one should have to be victimized a second time for being hurt. You are both brave and I’m so happy you spoke out.

    Reply
  11. JesS

    Caring about victims rights is wonderful and certainly something that needs to be paramount.
    I applaud you for this Jill and Derick.
    The one thing I think this article missed is Who or Whom are responsible for this. The unfortunate answer is Your parents and Your brother.
    This is a hard thing to come to terms with. I know how you feel. I have been in your shoes. My parents would visit a grandparents house. The male elder figure liked to put his hands in places that didn’t belong. I was 6-9 years old when this was going on.
    Nothing happened to him. I told my mom and she didn’t believe one word of it neither did my father. I was deemed a liar. I was 16 when this finally came to light. He was caught with a cousin doing the same.
    I hope that you and yours are ok. I am sorry this happened to you. You take the time you need before you think about forgiveness. It’s ok to be angry and not forgive. You should watch your children. I never had a babysitter I just couldn’t trust. Hang in there.

    Reply
  12. Lee

    Did any of you actually read the entire 20-page court order? Or just this post? Do any of you really understand the reasoning and law behind the court’s opinion? It doesn’t sound like it.

    Reply
    • H

      Amen, Lee. It debunked Jim Bob’s BS that it was intentionally done.

      If they want to write a scathing assessment of the situation – do it against Josh & Jim Bob (Michelle by proxy).

      Jessa’s “He was just a teenage boy, a little too curious about girls”
      &
      Jim Bob’s “We know a lot of families who have this issue in their homes. No big deal.”

      Were both WAY worse for victims of SA than any leak.

      Reply
  13. Lisa V

    The last paragraph of your statement will resound with anyone who has been a victim of a crime; thank you for putting into words a theory that desperately needs to become the truth.

    Thank you for your willingness to share private details with curious onlookers, myself included. None of us are owed anything and I appreciate the fact that you are both open and transparent when it must be anything but easy to do so.
    For those who feel the need to leave comments that are unsupportive – There but for the grace of God go I, we are all walking a road that no one else has experienced and it would be wise for us all to remember that.

    Bless you Dillard Family, may you continue to seek the path of righteousness.

    Reply
  14. Mary

    Dear Jill, I feel your pain and you are in my prayers. Being ostracized by your family and the scapegoat for the outcomes only adds to your pain. The boundaries you have put in place are positive, and many can learn from that. Keep speaking out when you have the strength but take care of yourself so you can care for your family. Although this will be a life long battle, you have already grown and made a positive impact in so many ways. I was the oldest daughter in a large family (smaller than your family of origin). For people who have not had parental responsibilities pushed upon them during childhood, they do not understand the impact it has on the remainder of your life. On top of that you had these incidents that were covered up, and this cover up only caused you and your sisters more pain. As you try to heal you are “stabbed again” by a biological father who blames you for ever speaking up. Jill, he is out from “God’s umbrella.” He failed to protect you. Our God did not want those things to happen to you. But because we are not perfect and we are sinful, and evil exists, your parents several huge mistakes. You have learned from those by creating protection for your sons. It may seem lonely, and there will be those valley’s of despair in your future, but just remember the 23rd Psalm. You have friends. Family does not have to be the group we were born into. After all we are all distantly related, Keep protecting yourself; keep speaking out when the opportunity arises. You are heard. Your voice is needed.

    Reply
  15. Donna Jackson

    Jill as a 58 yr old survivor of csam and later as a adult SA I certainly feel your frustration and disappointment over the decisions made in this ruling. I’m sorry you and your sisters are having to relive this terrible ordeal. I truly believe that the judge would have ruled in your favor if not for laws in your state. I have watched you grow up on TV and I’m so proud of the woman you’ve become as a result and inspite of all you’ve been through. It’s even more tragic that not only have you been victimized but vilified by your parents. If they had protected you and your sisters, things may have turned out differently. Jill I grew up in the IBLP. It was not a good situation. I understand the pain of being blamed for everything that happened to me as a innocent girl. Fortunately for me, my parents woke up and severed their relationship with the church. I am so glad you have Derrick by your side. I wish nothing but the best for you and your little family. I wish you could seek justice through the court for the ones truly responsible for all of this, Josh and your parents. I apologize if I’m overstepping here but as someone that has been there before you were even born, I’m just outraged that the IBLP and their abusive ways are allowed to continue. I’m proud that you have found your voice. I hope you’ll continue to share it to bring about change in the lives of others who have been grossly served injustice. I’ll be praying for you and Derrick and your boys. God bless.

    Reply
  16. Amber

    Its sad and horrible you have had to deal with this. While its not fair for you, I do hope that some good comes from this. Whether thats increased scrutiny on Josh and what he was doing online or even just more support towards you and the other victims of his original sins, you never know what this will affect. Maybe this coming to light could mean that more young children were no longer at risk?!?! At the very least, its given you and Derrick a new found confidence that you can stand up to the people that are not (and have never been) on your side. Plus, in this line of work Derrick now has more motivation to be in a profession that can help those who need a voice.

    Reply
  17. Janice

    So sorry to hear that you and your sisters were not seen as a primary consideration for the people entrusted with your confidential files. While the judge did admonish those civil servants, it really isn’t enough. Freedom of information is important, but it shouldn’t take a law degree to understand that under age victims rights are paramount, particularily when those involved were supposed secure custodian of those documents.

    While I think we would all agree that the person who perpetrated the crime that was the subject of reports should be acknowledged as the person who originally victimized you and your sisters, that certainly doesn’t excuse the people re-victimized you later on.

    So glad to see that you are speaking up on your own behalf. You and your sisters own the right to define this narrative, no one else does.

    Take care

    Reply
  18. Angie c

    As a victim of molestation starting the summer I turned 8 continuing until 14 I applaud you for trying & speaking out. My abuse was at the hands of a cousin, I was sent to there home holiday breaks & all summer. I am still trying to work through it. While my story is not the same as yours we are still victims. His parents did not know, I believed his threats of how I would be to blame & everyone would be mad at me. 22 years after I no longer went up there I spoke with my brother then over the phone talked to the perpetrator. My brother remembered things. He is close to that cousin & excused it away. He was experimenting curious whatever else. I lost that side of my family completely by my doing, I just couldn’t see him. I can never tell them why I walked away from the rest of the family. I don’t want to hurt them like that. Jill you are a strong women with an awesome man to stand with you through all of this. I apologize as this comment may not be directly related to this post but it really struck me. I truly wish I had someone I trusted that I could talk to & not have them lay judgement on me. I am going to start following your page maybe I will find some peace.

    Reply
  19. Tammy Bernard

    I am so sorry You are all going through all that. I like what you posted and I could not agree more. All our prayers to you and your Family!

    Reply
  20. Jess

    I’m very sorry to hear that your case wasn’t handled as it should have been! The reports never ever should have been released you girls should have been protected above all else but you weren’t and it’s inexcusable! Immunity ecpecially in this case is absurd. Just because they are civil servants doesn’t give them the right to do as they did and low and behold they aren’t being held responsible. Just wrong! There was so much wrong in the whole situation it’s not even funny! You keep doing what you are Jill your a beautiful example of strength and grace!

    Reply

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