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Dads and Uncles, Exposing Their Secret
An Ugly World-wide Secret - Incest

By Barrington H. Brennen, 2005


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).

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.


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 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.

Do not hesitate. Call the police and the social services department in your area.

Send your questions or comments to P.O. Box CB-11045, Nassau, The Bahamas; or call 1-242-327 1980,  or email question@soencouragement.org 





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