According to RAINN (Rape,Abuse, Incest National Network ) , the definition of INCEST is:
“Incest is sexual contact between persons who are so closely related that their marriage is illegal (e.g., parents and children, uncles/aunts and nieces/nephews, etc.). This usually takes the form of an older family member sexually abusing a child or adolescent.”
The laws regarding incest, child sexual abuse, sexual assault, and rape vary from state to state, country to country. Many cases of incest do not get reported so statistics are not reliable to the actual number of cases.
Unfortunately, many reasons exist that victims may not report incest. Most of these cases, the children are young and may not realize that it is not normal or may have been told that it is normal and every family does it. These victims may not know that they even need to ask for help as children. Many also live in fear after having been threatened or afraid of what will happen to them if removed from their family. These young victims may also fear not being believed or being accused of doing something wrong. The fears that these incest victims face are innumerable. Compound that with quilt and shame as they realize that it is not normal and not acceptable.
Though all types of sexual abuse in children are devastating with long-term damaging effects, incest is one of the worst forms because it involves the victim’s own family. Even though no child sexual abuse is good, when it involves a non-family member, then the family is there for emotional support for the victim and to provide safety from further violation. But, when the abuser is an immediate family member, that young victim feels like he or she has no one to turn to and no place of safety. They have no one to trust since the ones who they should be able to trust are the ones harming them, especially if the non-abusive parent has witnessed the abuse and not stopped it for fear of abuse or whatever reason. Some many have also been incest victims or fearful of losing their spouse or may blame the child for instigating it. Whatever the reason, incest is especially harmful to it’s victims.
If you suspect that a child may be in an abusive situation or incest situation, please call Child Protective Services in your area immediately or if they are in immediate danger, call 911.