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1. Background
Child sexual abuse has become one of the most talked about topics today. This kind
of abuse takes a lot of forms including child pornography rings, rapes, molestations,
statutory rapes and incest. According to some US statistics, in a large majority of the
cases, the victims are somebody that the attackers knew. This includes members of
their own family.

Incest is defined as any sexual activity between closely related persons that is
socially taboo, and often illegal. This often refers to the members of their own
immediate family, although some cultures define this differently to others. For
example, in Arab culture, marriage between first cousins is permissible, but it is
largely considered taboo in some American Cultures (Wikipedia, 2009).

Father-daughter incest is the largest reported cases. When this happens between
adults and children, it is considered as child sexual abuse. Studies have shown that
this form of sexual abuse can lead to life long psychological trauma, with parental
incest having the biggest negative impact on somebody’s mental health (Wikipedia,

Today, Malaysia is facing a moral crisis. Cases of abandoned babies are on the rise.
Sex out of wedlock has become a norm, and even worse, cases of incest are
reported with an alarming increase as of late. Parents, especially fathers that are
supposed to take care of their children, to protect them against predators become
sexual predators themselves.

There are laws that protect children against sexual predators. But these crimes are
usually happens behind closed doors. Children are often too scared to relate their
predicament to any outsiders, especially when they are raped by someone they trust,
like their parents. This act destroys whatever trust that they have to others. The laws

are often incapable of prosecuting the perpetrators since lack of evidence and
witnesses usually hamper the cases.

2. Problem statement

The crime of incest is an interesting topic because it breaks many social barriers,
including religious norms and social norms. Fathers are by nature protective over
their children. But when incest happens, this has become opposed the societal norm,
the family institution, the law and the trust of a child. Not only that he had committed
sex out of wedlock, but sex with his own offspring is usually deplorable by almost all
people from around the world and universally condemned by almost all societies.

The purpose of this research is to understand why some people commit incest. This
research is associated to crime, society and family institution. To the victim, the
crime of incest, especially when a parent rapes his own child, is a traumatic
experience that affects their life which is irreversible. This research intends to explore
the reason why some parents rape their own children. This is so that the other
members of the family can take measures to protect the children should one parent
show the signs of committing this crime.

3. Objectives of Research

• To study why people commit incest.

• To identify the preventive measures that can be taken to prohibit the
• To examine characteristics of those incline to commit incest.

• To study the effect of incest on other family members.

4. Research Questions
i. What cause people to commit incest?
ii. What are the preventive measures that can be taken to prohibit the crime?

iii. What are the risk factors involved in incest cases?

iv. What are the effects of incest on other members of the family?

5. Significance of Research
The purpose of this research is to find clarity of the issues that are related to incest.
First and foremost, why do some people commit incest? How can somebody who
have been entrusted with the responsibility to take care and protect their children,
breaches that responsibility and rapes their children.

This research also seeks to define the many types of incest. Consensual and non-
consensual incest will be discussed, and why these types of incest do happen. The
state of mind of people who commit these social taboos will also be discussed.

This research can be beneficial to the society, to identify traits of family members
incline to commit incest, so that they can better protect the children in their family.
This can be used as a preventive measure against these perpetrators. The police
also can use this research to help them profile these offenders.

6. Operational Definition

The following are operational definitions:

a. Incest:
Any sexual activity between closely related persons (often within the immediate
family) that is illegal or socially taboo.
b. Consensual incest:
Incest that are mutually agreed by both partners.
c. Non-consensual incest:
Sexual abuse by a family member or other closely related family member.
d. Child sexual abuse
Sexual abuse of an adult towards a child.
e. Children
A child below 12 years of age.
f. Adult
A person above 18 years of age.
g. Age of consent
The minimum age at which a person is considered to be legally competent of
consenting to sexual acts.


The first researcher is Patricia J. Long who did a research on “Perpetrators of Incest. “
Long (1995) uses existing data from other research in conducting her research. In other
words she used secondary research, based on the researches by numerous other
researchers that have conducted research on this topic throughout the years.

Long had tried to classify the sex offenders according to several classifications. The first
one is the role of sexual arousal. According to this research, many writers are of the
opinion that incest is a sexual expression that caters to nonsexual needs such as love,
affection, low self esteem and depression.

Some researches, including Murphy, Haynes, Stalgaitis, and Flanagan (1986) and
Quinsey, Chaplin, and Carrigan (1979) have shown that people who committed incest
are not necessarily sexually attracted to children. So incest offenders are not necessarily
paedophiles, and these offenders “demonstrate somewhat ‘normal’ age preferences.”
When compared to paedophiles, which preyed on children who are not from their own
family, it is found that the paedophiles have a higher level of arousal. This however is a
controversial finding, and many researches have led to different results in different

The second classification is Personality and Psychopathology. There are alot of early
schools of thought that considers incest offenders as mentally or emotionally distubed.
Later researches howver have moved to disprove this. The Minnesota Multiphasic
Personality Inventory (MMPI) has been used in alot of cases, but in alot of cases it is
shown that the result has beared little difference between the offenders and the controls.

Poor self-esteem, lack of empathy, narcissism, and self-centeredness are also said to be
contributing factors, as well as shynes, being introvert and having poor social skills.
Alcohol abuse also have been blamed, with alcohol removing the taboos from the
offenders eyes as they acts as a disinhibitor to the offenders. Child abuse and family
history may also play a part in creating the offenders.(Long; 1995)

The second researcher is Vander Mey, Neff (1986). Neff did a research entitled “Incest
As Child Abuse.” Neff also used existing data from other research in conducting her
research. In other words she used secondary research, based on the researches by
numerous other researchers that have conducted research on this topic throughout the

This research emphasizes on the potential victims that the society maybe able to spot.
Among the signs that someone might be a victim of incestual child abuse that can be
spot by the teacher are ”depression; drop in academic performance; truancy; non-
involvement in social activities with other children; over restrictive demands on the child
from the parents; poor self-image as reflected in modes of dress or lack of good

Isolated families and those without social interactions with other people that surrounds
are considered to have high risk of incest incidence. Usually, mothers that is very much
dependent on their husband for emotional, social and financial support. Sometimes, in
these cases, the mother might relinquish the role of the wife to the daughter.

The father characteristics or also discussed in the research. The family members’ social
behaviour and activities are usually controlled and extremely restricted by the father. He
is often tyrannical, and having no impulse control.

The research also concluded that prevention and intervention responsibility should be
shared by all levels of society. “Concerned adults, mandared sources, and law
enforcement. Counselling and social service agencies” all have to be alert to be more
effective in combating incest cases.

Research that are done regarding incest has to be published commercially, and make it
readable for the general public. This is important as it can help the general public more
informed and ready to shoulder the resposiblity, and to act should the need arises.
(Vander Mey, Neff; 1986)

The third researchers are Maheran Zakaria, Tengku Adida Tengku Zainal Mulok and

Wan Murshida Wan Hashim who did a research entitled “Kajian mengenai ciri-ciri pelaku
dan mangsa sumbang mahram di Malaysia”

These researchers also used the secondary data research method and took the existing
data from PDRM. The original cases were reviewed that refer to 1019 suspects. The
cases will be analysis with frequency and descriptive, then will be divide into several
parts for analysis.

They also conduct the interview with the police officer and Social Welfare Department.
The researcher found that incest in Malaysia is a serious problem. The 1019 incest
cases are taken from the 5513 raping case in the same period. Its increase from the
year 2000 to 2002 and decrease in 2003. The decrease maybe affected by two factors.
First, the implementation of the section 376B of the penal code provides for a jail term
between six years and 20 years with whipping. Its make the future suspects are worried
to involve with incest because the punishment is too heavy. Second, the victim
sometime was refused to lodge a police report because the suspect is someone that has
a kin relation and will giving the negative impact to their family.

The researcher also found that suspect and victim usually are come from the middle and
low class income. The suspect didn’t have a high level of education and gain a low
income. This group of suspect always faces a pressure in their life. They express their
pressure to the victim that didn’t have such energy t fight back. They will feel satisfy with
doing that. They feel like had released the pressure their face.

The suspect ages is around 18 and maybe a grandfather, father, brother or someone
that have a big physical and energy to do that. The victim usually below than 16 years
old and staying in the same house with the suspect. The incest will be happen in several
times because the victim has no choice to move out from the house.

Marjorie S.Hardy also contucted a study entitled “Physical Aggression and Sexual
Behavior Among Siblings: A Retrospective Study”. Undergraduate students at a large
urban university in the south participated in this study. Two hundred and three students
were recruited through the undergraduate subject pool and completed the
questionnaires in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the Introductory Psychology

course in which they were enrolled. Fifty-two males (25.6%) and 151 females (74.4%)
completed the study. Participants signed up to complete the forms at various times
throughout the day over a 2-week period.

Results from this study suggest that aggressive and sexual contact among siblings is
relatively common. Almost half of the respondents reported that a sibling had been
physically aggressive toward them.

The number of respondents who believed their sibling interactions to have been abusive
increased dramatically from the time it occurred to the present, from 9.3% to 19.6% for
victims of physical abuse, from 14.5% to 22.9% for perpetrators of aggression, and from
6.6% to 33.3% for individuals who had engaged in some sexual behavior with a sibling.

The results of this study suggest that stress within the family may predispose siblings to
engage in either physically aggressive or sexual behaviors. Respondents in this study
described relatively neutral to slightly positive relationships with their siblings, despite
incidents of ongoing physical aggression or sexual activity during childhood. For the
respondents who reported physical aggression, either as a victim or perpetrator, the
quality of relationship had significantly improved by the time the study was conducted,
with individuals reporting less neutral and more positive relationships. On the other
hand, for the individuals who reported sexual activity with a sibling, the quality of the
relationship remained the same, although relatively neutral.

Mohammed Nasimul Islam, Khoo Lay See, Lai Chin Ting, Jesmine Khan conducted a
study, “Pattern of sexual offences attended at accident and emergency department of
HUSM from year 2000 to 2003:A retrospective study”.

A total of 439 sexual offences cases were received by OSCC, HUSM and the specimens
of 306 victims those were sent to the Pathology Department HUSM were reviewed. The
raw data collected from OSCC and the Pathology Department were arranged, sorted
and tabulated according to age, sex, race, types of abuse, relationship between patient
and sexual offender, whether a police report was lodged, education level of the patient
and the districts where the patient was from, place of crime occurrence and destiny of
patients after discharged from HUSM, type of tests performed, results and from which
department the patient’s specimen was obtained. The destiny of sexual offence victims

was categorized into discharged to mother, family or to welfare department for further

The organized data was later entered into SPSS software for further analysis of
Independent T-Test, Mann-Whitney U Test (Wilcoxon Rank Sum W Test), Chi-Square
Test or Fisher Exact Test and ANOVA.

The whole sample data of 439 sexual offence cases, all victims of sexual offences were
found to be female (100%) and were Muslims (100%).

This study showed that incest cases in Kelantan state were not an infrequent sexual
behavior, in which the sexual partners were close blood relations. Though incestual
practice is legally prohibited, but the number of cases had shown to increase from year
2000 to 2003.

Majority of victims of incest fall into category of age 0-6, 7-12 and 13-18 years. Only 6
cases were reported by victims from age 19-24 and 25-30 years. From the total of 439
sexual offence cases, 120 cases (27.3%) were found to be incest. It is indicated that
2.1% were victims of incest by their grandfather, 1.8% by their step grandfather, 5.5% by
their father, 4.8% by their stepfather, 3.4% by their brother, 5.0% by their uncle, and
4.8% by their cousin. According to the National Center for Victims of Crime and Crime
Victims Research and Treatment Center (1992), from the 61% of rape victims, 11% were
raped by their fathers or stepfathers, and 16% were raped by a relative (11). This
findings were similar to the results found in this study where 10.3% of victims attended at
OSCC, HUSM were raped by fathers and stepfathers where as another 17.1% were
raped by relatives.

Diana Russell in her research, “Incestuous Abuse : Its Long Term Effect”, conducted
primary researches which are case study and survey on violence against women. She
try to ascertain whether female incest survivors in Cape Town would be willing to
volunteer for in depth interview about their abuse experience. She also implement the
qualitative research by refer the study by other researchers.

In her survey, Russell conducted interview with 25 volunteers of survivors of incest

crime. One of them was disqualified because the incestuous did not occur in South

Africa. Remaining of 24 volunteer, 4 of them were black (but not African) and 20 were
white. Then she only focuses on these 20 respondents on her study.

Results of this study find that there are two types of effect to the victims which are Initial
Effect and Long Term Effect.

The Initial or short term effect of incestuous is categorized into:

• Utilization of defense mechanism
• Negative self concept
• Negative emotional concept
• Physical concept and somatics complaints
• Overt behaviour
• Other negative effect.

This research also finds that the initial effects often become the long term effect. It is
interconnected to each other.

The Long Term effect of incestuous has been categories into:

• Utilization of defense mechanisms
• Negative self concept
• Negative emotional state
• Sexual and interpersonal problems
• Physical consequences and somatics complaints
• Overt behaviour
• Revictimization
• Positive effect

Beside initial and long term effect the researcher also find the impact of incestuous
abuse on the family. When one of member of the family is traumatized by incestuous
abuse the entire family is likely to be negatively effected.

Rod O’Connor, The Senior Research Fellow from Center of Health Program Evaluation
conducted a study called “Child Sexual Abuse: Treatment, Prevention and Detection”.

This study arises from the secondary study which based on other researcher study. This
report arises from the Inquiry into Paraphiliac Sex Offending, auspice by The National
Centre for Health Program Evaluation. This study was conducted by Mr Grant Nicoll
which review concerned paraphiliac offending in general and paid particular attention to
the chemical and behavioral treatment of individual paraphiliacs. The review of this study
has relevance to this report, and maybe consulted for further details regarding offence
incidence, and chemical/ behavioral treatment techniques.

This study is focused to the treatment, prevention and early detection of child sexual
abuse and makes recommendation.

The process of sexual abuse can be subtle and binding with a significant number of
incest victims was child which is love, need and depends on perpetrator. Approximately
half mother of sexually abused children in incest cases have been sexually abused
themselves. They tend to be having negative attitude to sexual behavior, and poor
relationship with the daughter and tend to be less protecting to the daughter.

Many incest father but not all, tend to be passive, with low esteem, and an impaired
sense of masculine identification, consistent to their having been abused and neglected
by their own father. It is minority of incest fathers may have a focused deviant sexual
attraction to children in general. They are also show lack of empathy and bonding with
their daughter and also lack of concern for the well-being of their daughter. This may be
related to a lack of involvement in the early care of the child, although it could also be a
symptom of pre-existing poor parenting capacity.

The prevention effort needs to target simultaneously the potential victim, potential
perpetrator and those aspect of the of the social fabrics that nurture abuse behavior. The
major focus of prevention effort should be on potential perpetrator and the public at
large. There is a need to increase awareness in the home of child sexual abuse issues,
to publicly advertise that children are been taught in school to disclose incidents of
sexual abuse.

It is suggested that the development of the research and treatment facilities in child
sexual abuse would offer the opportunity to conduct research in both treatment and

prevention. Both treatments and prevention program will benefit this, both need to be
built on sound research into the nature of child sex offender, sexually abusing families,
the role of broad societal factors and effectiveness of existing program.


3.0 Research Methodology

Qualitative research is when a researcher aims to gather understanding of human
behaviour through several means. Observation, secondary research and academic
research are part of qualitative research.

Qualitative research is gathered through means of surveys, interviews. The data

gathered from the sample, and the data is first hand data. The data analysis is done
using statistics, and often tabulated using software such as SPSS.

In this research, academic researches use gathered data from secondary data which
means that data from researchers who did studies on topics closely related to “incest”
The data are obtained from the Internet and online libraries which are used extensively to
answer the questions pertaining to this research.

Data gathered from the research are used in a variety of ways. Among the most popular
techniques used to analyse the data is through observer’s interpretation. The data is
examined, interpreted and reported in a structured form. Content analysis is also
sometimes used to analyse the data through counting phrases or tokens in the content.
This can be later used to form statistical data.

The factors focused in the research are:

I. What cause people to commit incest?

II. What are the preventive measures that can be taken to prohibit the
III. What are the risk factors involved in incest cases?
IV. What are the effects of incest on other members of the family?

This research aims to answer and explain why incest occurs, what are the effects of
incest not only towards the victim, but also to the victims’ family.


4.1 Findings
This chapter consists of the findings base on the research from secondary data. The
research answered four exclusive research question and they are:

I. What cause people to commit incest?

II. What are the preventive measures that can be taken to prohibit the
III. What are the risk factors involved in incest cases?
IV. What are the effects of incest on other members of the family?

RQ1: What cause people to commit incest?

There are several factors that are mentioned in various researches regarding why does
incest occur. One of the theories that explain this behaviour is family dynamics. A
dysfunctional family 1is said to give some people inclination to commit incest. Risk
factors include broken families and marriages, the assumption of parent role by a child,
and the imbalance of family function and relationship (Long; 1995). It is also said by this
theory that incest is a result from a relationship struggle between the perpetrator, the
victim and a ‘nonparticipating other adult’ (Long; 1995), which is usually the mother.

Marital stress that arrives with the birth of the first child is also speculated to contribute
towards incest occurrences (Gelinas; 1988). As the mother shifts her attention towards
the child, she increasingly avoids her husband, while the husband increases his
demands towards his wife. Over the years, the wife starts to delegate some of her
responsibilities to the child, and later assumes the role of the caretaker of the family. The
husband, whose demands for love, affection and nurturing are ignored by the wife,
begins to look for other mean to fulfill his needs. With the mother emotionally distant,
and the parentification of the child, together with the husbands desire to keep the family
as a unit, the husband begins to seek to fulfill this need through the child. The mother is

A dysfunctional family is a ‘family in which conflict, misbehavior and even abuse on the part of individual
members of the family occur continually and regularly, leading other members to accommodate such
actions.’ (Wikipedia; 2009)

thought to have encouraged this behaviour by pushing her daughter towards her father,
whether consciously, or subconsciously. Social isolation and limited contact with the
outside world also contributes towards the occurrence of this tragedy.

Studies have shown that family can be an important factor into driving an individual to
commit incest. However, these factors alone does not explain for all cases, and “it is
likely that other factors contribute to the perpetrators' behaviour” (Long;1995).

Finkelhor (1984) has studied 3 different motivations on why do people commit incest.
They are:

 Emotional Congruence – The desire to be powerful over their

 Sexual Arousal - The perpetrators may find children sexually
 Blockage - The lack for alternative sexual partners.

These theories are in line with what other researchers are saying, although not all three
may be present in all cases of incest.

RQ2: What are the preventive measures that can be taken to prohibit the crime?


In most cases, the perpetrators were blood relations like father, brother, uncle,
grandfather or close relatives. Others perpetrators include the stepfather, stepbrother,
brother in law or guardian. On 2003, 95 per cent of incest cases in the country probably
go unreported (Hadi Zakaria,2004). They remained silent because of a combination of
reasons such as feeling afraid of being divorced, shame, fear, out of respect for the
husband and because they were completely financially dependent on the abuser.

Government and non governmental organizations working on eradicating the crime of

incest note that most of the abused remain silent because the victims are afraid to tell
others about it. Families need to be educated on what are the boundaries of
“appropriateness” that a family member should behave. This can be achieved through
school education. Furthermore, teachers can play a role in seeking out potential victims.

They should forge a close relationship with their students, because besides a child’s
parents, teachers can sometimes substitute a parental figure.


According to Finkelhor (1984), the final step before a person can commit incest is by
overcoming the child’s resistance. Seeing this, it is again stressed that educating the
potential victims of the boundaries, and how they can defend themselves should the
need arises. The children needs to be taught how to use phrases like ‘’ Please say ‘no’
to them’’ or ‘’don’t touch me” or Go away’’. When they feel threatened, they should
shout or scream to draw attention to the situation (Asmah bee, 2004). Fighting back is
also always an option to prevent this from happening.

Delicate psychology

Most cases of incest are father-daughter cases. Finkelhor also mentioned that the lack
of alternative sexual partners also may contribute towards the motivation to commit
incest. As women tend to lessen their sexual relationship with their husbands due to the
burden of family matters, this may present a heightened risk of incest occurrence
especially in places where other alternative sexual partners such as sex workers are not
present or not available due to the husbands low self esteem. To lower this risk, the wife
will have to make herself available regularly to the husband.

Sexual attraction to children is also one of the biggest motivation towards committing
incest. Family members’ needs to be alert for this problem, and will need to take a
proactive role to get those that they think are susceptible to this sexual attraction to get
help. People with this perverse attraction need help to get them back unto a sexual well-

Curbing Drug and Alcohol Abuse

According to Finkelhor, any internal disinhibitions must be overcome by the perpetrator.

Among ways that can make someone lose their judgement and any disinhibitors that
they might have against commiting the crime is drugs and alcohol. These substances
can alter the mind of someone, and if the person already has problems before, this might
cause the person to lose his better judgement, and do something that might regret later.

This can include incest. Curbing alcohol and drug usage through rehabilitation and other
means can mean an averted tragedy.

Strengthening of Laws

A more comprehensive and loophole-free legal system is in need to curb such heinous
crime. The prosecutors face insurmountable difficulty with the physical evidence in
incest or sexual abuse cases because a minor tear in hymen can heal or disappear
rather quickly especially when the victims are young children. Most of our judiciary
systems are referred of penetration (anal or vaginal) evidence. When we only rely on
this, the abuser is easily acquitted as torn hymen can also happen because of other

Dr. Amar Singh (2002) wrote :

“However, in our legal systems, child evidence is not considered as

important even when obtained by trained specialists. Our judiciary needs
to move away from focussing on hymen size or tears but move to wider
perspective of the case. Furthermore, verbal evidence from the child
should be documented on video for court purposes so as to limit the
trauma of the child appearing in court, often in front of the abuser’’

RQ3: What are the risk factors involved in incest cases?

One of the largest risk factors is other non-sexual abuse by the abuser. About 70%
cases that were researched had other forms of abuse attached together with the sexual
abuse. These abuses include neglect or even physical abuse. Some of them even
require hospitalization due to injuries suffered from the abuse. This shows that child
abuse is a huge risk factor that can lead to incest.

The economic factor also is a risk factor that can lead to incest. It is found that most of
the cases of incest occurred within a family that is in the low income bracket (Mey, Neff;
1986). A small percentage of the family even are receiving some sort of public income
assistance. It is also found that most of the perpetrators are unskilled labourers, and
very rarely if ever professionals and businessmen are involved in incest. The education
level for the perpetrator was not very high, as it is shown that the average is from high
school level only.

Family factors are also identified as part of the risk factor. A large majority of cases are
within broken homes, Mey and Neff reported (1986). Besides being in a broken home,
as were mentioned in the previous paragraph, financial problems also plays a part in the
cases. Alcohol abuse are also a common characteristic in the cases. Small houses are
also reported in some of the cases.

In Malaysia, it is found that as with the cases in other places, fathers are the ones who
are most likely to commit incest with their children (Perangkaan Wanita, Keluarga dan
Kebajikan Masyarakat;2006). It is also found that the economic and social factors are
also true in the local cases, which the local cases normally happens in estates, small
houses, and families where they are struggling to feed their families (Teropong Edisi 8;

4.4 The Effects of incest on the victim and other family members

In many cases of childhood sexual abuse, incest is especially divesting because

it affects the entire family. In many cases the child is afraid to tell for fear of
upsetting the balance of the entire family. For fear of hurting the other parent or
having to have the abusive parents leaves the family. Fear of not being believed
is especially common because it is much easier for people to believe a child
when they tell on a stranger than to believe a family member might be capable of
such a terrible act.

Incest affects a child whole belief system. It is very hard for a child to believe a
loved one would hurt them in anyway. The child blames themselves rather than
the person who is supposed to love and protect them. As an adult, an incest
victim has a very difficult time with trust and relationship issues. Many times, the
other parent might know or suspect the child is being abused but because that
parent does not want to break up the family bond, the abuse is covered, not
talked about and ignored. Keeping secrete of the abuse also may lead to
increase the distance of family relationship.

Several researchers found out that many incest survivors come from families in
which the mothers were powerless. Most of them also are mentally and
physically abuse by the husband and that rendered them ineffective protector of
their daughter. Because of these reason the bond between daughter and mother
become poor. Some of the mothers blame themselves for their daughters’
problem, imagining that they must be a bad mother. Other starts to reject their
daughters for their difficult and incomprehensible behaviour.

Most of the victims have interpersonal problem2 . It is very common that the
victim to blame the mother rather than the perpetrator. The main reason is that
the mothers are supposed to be the protector, it is because childrearing is
considered the primary responsibility of the mother, that’s why the child is more
attempt to blame the mother rather than the father. They will also have
destructive impact on relationship with their sibling (excluding the perpetrator)
and other as general (Russell, Diana E.H, 1995)

In the other hand other siblings that not been abuse may thought the incest
father giving extra attention to the abuse child without knowing the consequences
of the treatment. Most of the father – daughter incest cases, the disclosure may
lead to divorce. And more often the victims become isolated. Sometime the
victim is even removed from the home as if she has been blame for the abuse.
They have been blaming of the result of family brake up by he mother and other

Often the child grows into adulthood without having ever told anybody in the
family about the abuse. This adult is full of anger, hurt, confusion, shame, and
guilt. The adult might feel anger at other members of the family for not protecting
them even though nobody else in the family knew what was going on. Still, in that

Interpersonal problem is pattern of behavior that lead of difficulties or conflict and
relationship(, 2002)

child mind, they feel someone should have protected them and so anger is a big
issue with many incest survivors.

The rest of the family often blames the victim for causing trouble in the family. So
often in adulthood, incest victims are estranged from many members of their
family or they continue to be treated with anger and disbelief by those people.
They may still subject themselves to being around the abuser and not confronting
that person because they want to keep the family unit in tact. Because of all
these reasons, incest victims grow into adulthood with a very low sense of self-

The negative impact of incestuous abuse also may affect on survivor relationship
with men obviously affects the quality of their relationship with their husband and
this may also affect their married life. In this situation less of trust on men has
been the main reason. And many survivors highlight the negative impact of
incestuous abuse on the sexual dimension of their relationship. All this reason
may lead to a family break up or divorce and this has negative impact on many
children, research show that divorce is typically traumatic experience for them.

Incestuous abuse survivors also have the problem in their relationship with their
child especially if the child was born from the rape. They normally refuse to have
that child and become heartless mother, and some of them will give away the
child because they hate them. But some of them become over protected to the
child because they afraid that the abuse will be repeated to the child. And this
anxiety causes the survivor to distrust her husband with their daughter, a feeling
that must surely be detrimental to the marital relationship.

All these stressful experience will cause addictions with drugs and alcohol.
Eating disorders can be common amongst incest victims as they continually try to
find ways to cope with the painful feelings that being around their family
members bring up. They might feel that they have no control over the world

around them and view these disorders as things that they do have control over
and even worst the solution that some of the victims choose is suicide.

These are only some of the affects of incest. It is so much depends on how other
members of the family reacted to the abuse once it was disclosed. If the child
was believed and loved and shown support and compassion, than chances their
effects will not be as severe as the person who was never validated by their
family. All abuse is cruel, from the smallest touch to cases of rape. The main
point is victims suffer the same.

Chapter 5

Even though there are a lot of similarities among a lot of cases, there are just not
enough conclusive data to show exactly why a person can commit incest. This
problem can affect absolutely anyone, although it is shown that a lot of cases do
happen in isolated areas. People in the lower economy bracket are also more
inclined to commit this crime. It is also shown that alcohol and drugs can also be
blame in removing any personal disinhibitions that they might have against
committing the crime. Not to mention these chemical clouds ones judgement.
Marital problems and sex related problems between husband and wife can also
contribute towards the problem, especially if the husband has no alternative
sexual partner.

Prevention is always better than cure. Potential victims need to be educated on

appropriate behaviour and relationship boundaries. Teachers need play an active
role in identifying if any of their students has become a victim. Besides that,
potential victims also need to be taught on how to defend themselves against any
sexual predators that might lurk either inside or outside their homes. The law also
needs to be strengthened, with any legal loopholes that might acquit a
perpetrator needs to be plugged.

The effects of this crime absolutely cannot be underestimated. It is shown that

the effects of this crime on the victim and the family members can be a life-long
one. It is important that the victims received any and all the help they can get.
Psychological treatment is imperative so that the victims can move on, and leave
the tragedy behind.


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