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Dad, You’re Hurting Me Again
Article on Incest
by Barrington H. Brennen

Barrington Brennen

Since I started publishing these articles almost eight years ago, I have written more than four hundred and fifty dealing with issues of moral and social development. I have discussed marital and premarital relationships, divorce, old age, the single life, parenting, parent-child relationship, stress, anger, forgiveness, and much more. To enable these articles to reach a wider audience, in 1999, I began publishing them on my web site at www.soencouragement.org.  Literally thousands of readers from around the world visit the site every week to read articles of interest. I have observed over the past two years that the article that gets the most attention and the greatest number of hits each week is the article on Incest. It is entitled "Dads & Uncles, Exposing Their Secret." It never ceases to amaze me as I check my site statistics each week, that whatever new and interesting topic I write on, incest still gets the greatest attention.

THE WORLD’S GREATEST SECRET
Why? I have come to the conclusion that incest is one the world’s greatest, and most painful secrets. Often victims of incest feel that they cannot share their dark, excruciating secret with anyone. This may be because of shame, guilt, or threat from the perpetrator. On the other hand, some perpetrators are also shameful and afraid to reach out for help because they might be aware that their actions are criminal. So what do these people do? In their private world, behind the shadow of locked doors, they search the Internet. In a way like no other generation before was capable of doing, they secretly seek answers to their dilemma and a way out of this deep, dark dungeon, incest.

I believe that incestuous relationships might be as common in some villages and towns as adult, heterosexual promiscuous relationships. Incest has become an unspoken cultural tradition in many families and town. No one asks for it. No one discusses it. No one complains about it. It is just surreptitiously carried out. The perpetrators move toward their prey subtly, winning the trust and confidence of the unsuspecting innocent children before they strike with their venomous darts that leave the victims mesmerized or stunned.

In the Bahamas and the Caribbean, incest is very common, and the majority of the population denies that it is a problem, or that it really exists at all. Meanwhile, thousands of our children are being ruined for life. But many who deny it publicly are themselves victims of incest. In some villages or towns it has become a silent expectation, and an unforgiving, sinful requirement by fathers from their daughters. Even in our country, many little girls are shared as playmates between older brothers, cousins, uncles, and fathers, and step-fathers.

A FAMILY CULTURE
In some family cultures, a daughter having sex with dad is treated as a requirement and introduction to the real world of adult life. Some dads say that they have to teach their daughters how to "do it" so they can be good to their husbands.

Every medical and social agency in our country is dealing with this dilemma. Yet many of our officials and community leaders, are denying that fact. What will it take to put an end to this painful conundrum? When will we ever admit as a nation that incest is destroying our family life and the social and mental health of our children? The crime of incest goes way back into generations in some Bahamian and Caribbean families. Here is a real-life scenario: Thirty years ago a husband and wife gave birth to a daughter. When the daughter reached age eleven, the father began having sexual relationship with her. At age thirteen this daughter bore a daughter for her father. That daughter (granddaughter) fifteen years later, also got pregnant for the same father (her grandfather) and bore a baby girl. When this baby girl, now the great grand child, reached the age of eighteen, she also bore a child, this time for the younger brother of the grand father. Thus, making it three generations of incestuous relationships. What a sad story!

Too many of our families are treating their little girls, and sometimes boys, like sex toys. They are raped, emotionally and physically abused, and disrespected. Many of these incest victims eventually become socially dysfunctional. The healthy development of their emotional and psychological lives are shot-lived. As teenagers, they may be known as the black sheep of the family. In order to cope, they become defiant, rebellious, and delinquent. Fathers who have sexual relationships with their daughters are often controlling and obsessive. The outside world believes that they are obviously disobedient children, and never knows about the real, dark family secret. Of course, who would suspect her respected father who has a prominent position in the church and community!

LET’S ACCEPT THE TRUTH
Dear reader, let’s not put our heads in the sand. We do have a very serious incest problem in our country. It is only being allowed to continue because we have given it permission to do so. It is certainly the Bahamian enigma. Because of our silence, many children are being damaged emotionally and physically. Many infants born from incestuous relationships are developmentally emotionally and/or physically disabled. This places an added strain on the family system and the public health system. Let’s speak up now. Parents, stop the painful acts now. Seek help from a professional to assist in the healing process. If you are a victim of incest, then I implore you to seek help today. Call the child abuse hotline. Family members, report incest to the proper authorities. Doing so will preserve the health of your family and our nation. Call the child abuse hotline now at 242-327 2980. 
 
 Bahamian Child Abuse Web Site www.childabuseprevention.net 

 

 

 
Guidelines For Sharing the Information On This Site
Permission is granted to print these pages and to make the necessary copies for your  personal use, friends,  seminar, or meeting handout.  You must not sell for personal gain, only to cover the cost to make copies if necessary.    Written permission (email) is needed to publish or reprint articles and materials in any other form. Or you call at 242-327 1980.  Copyright © 1999 Sounds of Encouragement. All rights reserved.   Articles written by Barrington H. Brennen, Counseling Psychologist, Marriage & Family Therapist.  P.O. Box CB-13019,  Nassau, The Bahamas.     question@soencouragement.org