She's telling her truth. It's been nearly one year since Toby Willis, the patriarch of the Willis Family who starred on their own TLC reality series for two seasons between 2015 and 2016, was arrested and charged with four counts of child rape, to which he plead guilty. At the time, it was speculated that Toby's victims were between the ages of nine and 12 and some of them were his own daughters. Now, Toby's oldest daughter Jessica Willis is speaking out as a survivor for the first time since her father's arrest and she's bravely telling her story about the horrible sexual abuse she suffered.
"As far back as I can remember, I was sexually abused by my father," the 25-year-old wrote in a recent blog post. "I figure I was around three years old in some of the earliest memories. Initially, I had no way to know that anything was wrong. When I did eventually come to realize the fact, I had no way to accurately express what was happening to me. There followed immense shame, distrust and hurt throughout my childhood — even in the happy times. Thus ran the two parallel storylines that became my life."
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In her post, Jessica realled mulitple instances of times she endured abuse from her father, who controlled the reglious family as a father of 12 kids. The children were all homeschooled and also worked together as a family band called The Willis Clan, and for many years Jessica hid her pain and the truth of what was really going on in her family. But Jessica was eventually able to escape from her family two years ago and it was her testimony that helped put her father behind bars, where he is currently serving two 25-year sentences and two 40-year sentences. She also gave fans an update on her life since her father was arrested.
"I am not currently a part of The Willis Clan band but I will aways be a part of the Willis family," she wrote. "There is much to learn for myself about the truth of healthy relationships, faith, family, home, success, fulfillment and so much more. I appreciate the grace that is given by those closest to me. I assert my right to protect the privacy of my personal life while still feeling free to explore and passionately pursue my dreams and goals. I am excited by the possibilities of the future and the beauty of the now."
If you need support, The National Sexual Assault Hotline is available 24/7 at 1-800-656-4673. You will be connected with a trained staff member in your area. Or visit RAINN.org to chat online one-on-one with a support specialist at any time.