- Dads and Uncles,
Exposing Their Secret
- An Ugly World-wide Secret -
By Barrington H.
Barrington H. Brennen
Question: Dear Sir, Last week I did something that I am ashamed of. I attempted
to have sex with my twelve-year-old nice who lives with me and my wife. Itís
the first time I tried to do this. I understand that all of my uncles, and grand
fathers have children with their nieces or daughters. But I do not like the
thoughts of it. My wife and I are having serious marital difficulty and I
believe I attempted this sinful act to get back at her. What can I do? How can I
break the cycle of sexual molestation? Please help me?
Answer: You are right dear friend, this is an
evil, painful act. It is called incest.
There are many uncles, step fathers, fathers, cousins and brothers (in the
Bahamas and around the world) who are
messing up the lives of innocent little girls and sometimes boys through sexual
impropriety. It is times that mothers, daughters, family, friends, and others,
hold these men accountable for their behavior by confronting them. The stories
about incest are painfully numerous in our country.
- The majority of incest cases involve children between the
ages of 7 - 17. Molestations are most common by step-fathers, uncles,
cousins, fathers and brothers. Diana Russell, psychologist, calls the
father-daughter incest the "supreme betrayal." What kind of
man would assault his daughter? What kind of uncle would molest his niece?
Surprisingly, research shows that many fathers who are guilty of the crime
are highly moralistic and devoutly attached to fundamentalist religious
doctrines (Gebhard, 1965). These men often have a problem with interpersonal
relationships and highly traditionalists. Father-daughter incest tends to
occur in connection with a troubled marriage. The man may abuse his wife as
well as his daughter, and turn to the daughter sexually when his wife
rejects his advances. Many times the wife pretends not to notice because she
is afraid of her husbandís violence, or she may blame her daughter for
threatening to break up the family.
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I congratulate you,
dear uncle, for admitting your dilemma. You can help break the cycle by being
open and honest with your self and others who trust you. You can hold yourself
accountable for your behavior by not blaming others or finding excuses. I would
encourage you to seek professional help.
An adult woman, who
has a traumatic sexual attack, is more likely to once again experience a
trusting, intimate relationship in the future. However, when children are
sexually molested, their capacity to trust can be shattered. "Their sense
of who they are and what sex is about, is often totally or substantially shaped
by the sexually abusive experience" (Russell).
THE EASY ROAD
- Often men do not realize how easy it is to become sexually
involved with their daughters or nieces. The unique relationship between
fathers and daughters can sometimes led to inordinate relationships if there
is dysfunction in the family. The incest relationship usually starts very
"innocently." Daughters look up to their fathers. They have a deep
trust and respect for the man who provides their food and clothing and give
them a sense of security. When a husband and wife is having marital
difficulty the husband sometimes turn to the daughter to meet the needs that
the wife usually provide. This may begin with cleaning his shoes, ironing his
shirts, waking her up late at night to cook for him. She would do it because
she "loves her father." This may lead to extended warm embraces and
cuddling. Why would a little girl not enjoy such attention, for it is her
father? This type of behavior soon intensifies until the love is betrayed
when the father crosses the boundary and engages in a sexual activity with
his daughter that may include caressing, petting, kissing, making her suck
his penis, intercourse etc. He then persuades her to keep what they did a
secret. He may even threaten her and the relationship may go on for years
resulting is long-term emotional effect on the daughter.
Studies show that "female survivors are severely
conflict-laden, experience rage and ongoing hostility to both parents, and
hold all women in contempt. . . . These female survivors are less likely to
get married than non-survivors. The most pervasive problem faced by survivors
in relationship are around issues of intimacy. Psychologists Lundberg-Love
and Crawford state that a majority of these women have an inability to trust
people and difficulty dealing with close relationships. Many survivors also
become victims of domestic violence. Survivors also may feel unlovable and
not worthy of being cared for. Thus, they "often choose someone who is
not very loving and who also perceives them as unworthy of being treated
well" (Kaslow). There are sexual dysfunctions that survivors usually
give as a result of incest. These include: desire disorder, orgasmic
disorder, pain during sex, and frequency and satisfaction difficulty.
Survivors may also
suffer from learning difficulties and poor attention spans. In addition
survivors may also have symptoms of depression and low self-esteem. They may
have nightmares, insomnia and fears of sleeping alone. Research also indicate
that the physical/somatic results of incest according to some survivors are
gastrointestinal disorders, chronic tension, migraines, chronic itching or pain
in the vaginal area and nausea (Lungberg).
Wow! Thatís a lot.
And I havenít completed the list, but I must stop here. I hope you got the
point. Incest is wrong. And the long-term side effects are devastating to the
victims and very destructive to the perpetrator Dads, Uncles, Cousins and
Brothers, please stop raping the nationís girls. Once you have sex with
someone there is a fifty-fifty chance of that person becoming pregnant.
According to recent studies at least 80-90% of all children born from an incest
relationship are either emotionally and/or physically disabled. The remaining
10-20% may occasionally have depression or other challenges in life as they
develop, but usually live a normal life.
No wonder there is
so much anger in our society. Relationships of trust are being broken every day.
Girls and boys are growing up with twisted ideas of relationships and their
sexuality. Who are responsible for this dilemma? Father, brothers, uncles and
cousins are responsible. The society is also responsible for being passive
towards such vice, creating the stage for mothers to cover up, deny, and
sometimes even support such relationships. It must come to an end. You can help.
not hesitate. Call the police and the social services department in your
Send your questions or
comments to P.O. Box CB-13019, Nassau, The Bahamas; or call 1-242-327 1980,