Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A Nightmare Memory of Corporal Punishment (QF: The View from Here)

This series of posts results includes excerpts from information shared with a journalist in August of 2015 who had questions about the Quiverfull Movement as it related to the Duggar Family.

Find the Index of all posts HERE.

Can you elaborate on the experiences you've heard from survivors of the QF cult? The lack of healthcare, emotional and physical abuse, risks of so many pregnancies and births, girls being robbed of their own childhoods, shame surrounding bodies and sex et cetera. It would be great to flesh those as a little so the readers can really understand the terrible impact of these on the women that you've helped.

Raising Children, Response Part Five:

One of the most heinous of all fates suffered by both sons and daughters in QF/P includes the long term wounds created in body, mind, and spirit by the reliance upon aggressive corporal punishment methods. 

Note this account of a woman who contributed her personal account to McFarland’s Quivering Daughters (pp. 100-101).

Miriam, a young wife and mother, tells about a tragic event that illustrates the pain of physical abuse. While it happened over twenty years ago, it still brings her to tears.

When my little brother Noah was one or two years old, he was still learning how to speak. The words “thank you” were recently added to his vocabulary, and one night we were all gathered in the family room. My sister Sharon brought him a bottle, and Mom told him to say “thank you.” He didn‘t. We older kids saw that it was an issue of no comprehension rather than rebellion—but rebellion is how Mom saw it. So she told Dad to start spanking him right away. After several series of spankings, with pauses in between to tell him to say thank you, he finally did...but then the spankings continued! Why? Two main things: “He‟s still rebelling—I can see it in his eyes,” said Mom. “We need to break his spirit,” said Dad.

Eventually they ordered us kids to leave the room while they wailed away on Noah but we stayed on the staircase, peering over the bannister. We were literally in shock and helpless at the brutality and detachment from reality as they beat him till his diaper started to shred and they took it off. Once Dad‘s hand became sore, they used a stick. We older kids felt so defiled yet unable to do anything. We knew that they would not listen if we asked, begged, or demanded that they stopped. We were absolutely shocked that Dad participated in this—we already knew Mom was crazy. The madness in her eyes freaked us out as she, in frenzy, kept telling Dad to spank. “He‘s still rebelling — his spirit isn‘t broken yet!”

I don‘t know what finally happened. Something along the lines of “his spirit” breaking. He‘d do anything they‘d say and had no spark of “life,” of soul, anymore. Mom claimed it as a victory. But for the next few days, whenever we kids changed his diaper, we cried.

~ Cynthia Kunsman
The view of Quiverfull from my vantage
August 2015