TITLE: Incest or incest-prep
By gene hudgens
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(Incest n; the past accepted definition of incest is sexual intercourse between persons so closely related that they are forbidden by law to marry. The present changing and accepted definition of incest takes into consideration the imposition of sexually inappropriate acts and acts with sexual overtones through betrayal of trust and includes sexual abuse by anyone who has authority or power over the child to include immediate and extended family members, babysitters, scout master, school teachers, counselors, priests and ministers, and etc.
I ask everyone who reads this to pay particular attention to every word. To me this is one of the sickest elements of our society…and it is happening every minute of every day. Incest between an adult and a related child or adolescent is considered the most common and serious form of child sexual abuse.
Incest and sexual abuse of children are diseases that are out of hand and raging at epidemic proportions. Surveys and statistics indicate that one out of three female children is abused before she reaches the age of 18 and one out of five boys is abused before he reaches the age of eighteen. Yes, even boys are abused.
Incest happens to children of every religion, economic status, and race. It can happen to any child at any age, at any time, and any where. Incest abusers will not stop on their own. He or she must be exposed in order to be identified, stopped, and punished. The recovering abuse victim has the primary responsibility to expose the abuser. It is silence by the victim that enables incest and sexual abuse to continue. Of course there are reasons, but unfortunately only a small percentage of incest abused children have the strength and guts to tell anyone, even a trusted adult.
The abusers can be anyone. The abuser may be the child’s most trusted adult. The abuser may be father, mother, stepfather, stepmother, grandfather, uncle, aunt, brother, sister, cousin, a coach, babysitter, teacher, father of the best friend, clergy…the list goes on and on. The abuser is normally a trusted adult that misuses trust.
The victim is never the cause of the abuse and incest. If you are abused, never ever blame yourself, regardless of your age. No child or teen is ever responsible for the actions of any abuser. Never make any excuse for any abuse, regardless of who the abuser is. It is never too late to report an abuser. The earlier the better, but it is better today than tomorrow and tomorrow is better than never.
Effective Sex Ed is so important, even in this area, because a well advised and prepared child (from age two or three) is more likely to tell someone if any indications of incest or abuse occurs. Very small children must be taught human body parts and how to describe them and any acts by another person involving these body parts. Effective Sex Ed must be expanded at every stage of a child’s development.
Children must be taught what the abuse indications are. All children must clearly understand that anyone who does anything resembling the indicators must be reported. All children must understand that they will not be punished in any way.
Sexual abuse includes sexual touching and fondling, therefore every “tiny” child must know the differences in safe and unsafe touches.
Every child must know that they need to tell a trusted adult if any adult (even their dad) asks them to keep a secret. Every child must understand that he or she has the right to say no to any request that makes them feel uneasy or scared, because no one has any right to touch or hurt them…because it is their body.
Of course sexual abuse includes any rape or attempted rape. Do you clearly understand that abuse and incest also includes all sexual fondling and touching. If dad stands behind his daughter and hugs her while holding, rubbing, or squeezing her small developing breasts, this is incest. If mom spends extra time rubbing the soapy rag on little John’s penis until it is erect each time she baths him, this is abuse of little John, as Mom gets her excitement.
Peeping or spying on naked children in bathrooms and bedrooms is abuse. Asking any child to undress, or pose sexually in person or on video or film is abuse. Allowing a child to observe adults during sexual activity is abuse. Allowing children to view pornographic photographs or movies is abuse.
Effective Sex Ed assists children to distinguish between incest and proper affection or love. Every child is vulnerable to incest and abuse. Almost every abuser will be some one they know and trust. It can even be dad or mom. Teach children to report incest even if it occurred a year or five years earlier.
Too often children do not report incest and abuse because they blame themselves in some way, they are bribed or threatened to keep a secret, they are afraid no one will believe them, they feel embarrassed or ashamed, they fear getting into trouble, they fear getting the abuser into trouble. This list goes on and on too.
A child or any person can feel confused by the attention or by the physical or emotional feelings accompanying the abuse at the time. Boy’s experiences are primarily homosexual experiences and less frequently involves family members, but boys are victims of force and coercion just like girls. A boy may get an erection when an abuser rubs his penis. The abused may enjoy the feeling he is experiencing, but this is normal and is no way an indication that he is gay. The important thing to remember is that you are not to blame if a pervert rubs your penis.
Studies indicate that stepdaughters are eight times more at risk of sexual abuse by the stepfathers than by their biological fathers. Perhaps some pedophiles become stepfathers in order to get close to children.
There is no cure for incest or sexual abuse, but each of you can help reduce or prevent incest by not being silence. Incest is a very damaging experience, but silence only protects the abuser or offender, thus hurting the children abused. The military expression, “The best defense is often offense” can be remolded for incest. Perhaps we can say, “If we can not cure incest, at least attempt to prevent it.” The best prevention is Effective Sex Ed.
Too few children tell friends or parents about their abuse. If a friend tries to tell you that he or she is being abused in any way…believe your friend and help your friend. Immediately contact a sexual assault crisis center nearest you. Ask the phone operator or police for info.
Physical evidence of incest is rare and there is no one behavior sign that definitely shows that a child is being abused. The following are a few of many behavior-change indicators that may occur when a child is abused: school problems, trouble sleeping, change in eating patter, depression, low self-esteem, withdrawal from friends or normal activities, sudden change in hygiene, physical problem complaints, alcohol or other drug problem, running away, suicide attempts, sexual play with toys, pets, or other children, unusual sexual language or knowledge, or even hints about incest or abuse.
Physical symptoms may include: urinary infections, STDs, irritation, swelling, and bleeding on the mouth, genital or anal area and other unexplained pains.
The bottom line is that your body is yours alone and you need to immediately tell a trusted adult if anyone at anytime makes you feel uncomfortable. As you get older encourage Effective Sex Ed for children even younger that you are. Be smart and be brave.
Like the “M” Word, incest is still an extremely taboo word and subject. Adults must wake up and shed antiquated teachings and meet the present threats head on. Make incest and masturbation…and other sexual words common house hold words that are lightly and openly discussed among all of the family. Expose the secrets. © Gene Hudgens
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