Key Principles and Facts about Child Sexual Abuse and Incest

  • Incestuous families often do not appear deviant in any way. In fact, most seem perfectly normal, and many are high-functioning.
  • In many families where incest is being perpetrated by one or both parents, the father has a respectable job and the mother is a homemaker and both often attend church or synagogues. Many abusers are atheists as well.
  • Alcoholism, and or, drug addiction are often involved in acts of child sexual abuse, and in families of incest.
  • Incest and child sexual abuse, perpetrated by a neighbor or family friend, rarely happens “just once” and the child is usually victimized for years –often well into their teenage years. The father, or step-father, usually abuses more than one daughter. They often physically abuse the male children, but sometimes a father or step-father sexually abuses or rapes the male children as well.
  • Child sexual abusers and child rapists rarely look like a monster –most look very normal and hold jobs of all different levels of education –including judges, Government officials, police-officers, and firemen. Sexual perpetrators are often the most respectable, well-loved members of the community, and often the person least likely to be suspected.
  • Less than ten percent of child sexual abusers are mentally ill, but the other 90% are emotionally ill.
  • Father-daughter incest is the most common form of incest.
  • Child sexual abuse is linked to all kinds of physical illnesses and diseases in adulthood, and to countless psychological conditions. Depression, fibromyalgia, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, personality disorders, insomnia, panic attacks, and migraines are just a few..
  • Anger is often the most repressed emotion connected to child sexual abuse, and the most difficult to get to during therapy and healing.
  • Over ninety percent of crimes perpetrated against children go unreported.
  • The United States Dept of Justice says one in twenty men have molested a child.
  • Seven out of ten sexual assault victims are under eighteen years old. This means that mostly children and teens are being raped and assaulted.
  • Ninety percent of child sexual abuse is committed by someone known, loved, and trusted by the victim.
  • At least sixty percent of all convicted sex offenders are on parole or probation. The vast majority of offenders are never caught, yet they have sexually abused multiple victims in their lifetime.
  • Forty to sixty percent of men who abuse women, will abuse children as well.
  • Fewer than five percent of children ever tell anyone that an adult is sexually assaulting them.
  • Children of all ages are raped or molested –and for some children, even from infancy.
  • Women, mothers, aunts, grandmothers, and sisters sexually molest children too.
  • When a sibling sexually abuses a younger sibling, or a child that is less powerful, it can be very painful and damaging to the victim. Some people excuse sibling sexual abuse as “playing doctor,” or “mutual exploration,” or “no big deal,” but it can be a big deal to the victim and can cause many physical, emotional, and psychological symptoms in the victim. In addition, same-sex sibling sexual abuse can be devastating and create terrible problems for the victim –even when it was a female sibling who abused a female child! Female-female child sexual abuse can be very serious for the victim. So is male to male child sexual abuse.
  • Up to 20% of victims of child sexual abuse completely block out the entire event/events, and even their entire childhood can be blocked out from memory if the trauma and abuse began at an early age, lasted for many years, was severely emotionally traumatic, and involved threats of death.
  • Photographs of incest are uncommon. Medical records are more likely non-existent because most abusers do not take the child they are raping and molesting to a doctor to treat the abuse, more often than not, the mother (or father) who knows the sexual abuse is taking place, also do not take the child for help.

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  • Studies show that at least forty-four percent of mothers protect the abuser, not their child. If rape was involved, the mother is even less likely to have protected her child.
  • Most survivors of child sexual abuse are angrier at the mother who did nothing to stop the abuse, than they are at the perpetrator. Most mothers, who guard the abuser, do so out of self-convenience, love for the abuser, and material needs –not because they are “victims too.” A mother’s chosen ignorance severely affects incest victims physically, emotionally, and psychologically. Many victims repress those emotions because of society’s views of women, and because we have been taught that women are all victims, and because we are taught that mothers cannot be blamed.
  • Many survivors of child sexual abuse –especially victims of incest- can also become very angry at any non-offending siblings, who did not protect them. This is a natural, normal response to have towards family members who knew the abuse was happening, but did nothing to stop it.
  • According to former FBI Agent Ken Lanning, children often don’t have any visible signs of abuse. When a child has been sexually assaulted, doctors often cannot find any identifying physical marks or injuries. Even if the child was physically wounded, they can heal rapidly.
  • Researchers have found that abnormal medical exams in children, who are suspected of having been sexually abused, only occurs about four percent of the time. The results of this study show that signs of sexual abuse in a child are hard to detect when physical evidence is depended upon as the primary indicator.
  • Experts feel there are fifty to sixty million survivors of child sexual abuse in the United States alone. Evidence shows this number is grossly underestimated.
  • Many survivors of child sexual abuse and incest have lost their connection with God, or a Higher Power because the person who sexually violated them proclaimed to be a religious person. Other victims lost faith in God because they could not understand how a loving God could possibly allow the abuse to happen to them. These feelings are normal and natural to have.
  • Lastly, and most importantly, you were not at fault for what happened to you. NO CHILD wants to be sexually abused. Some children respond to sexual abuse in a favorable way because they were not provided with love from other authority figures or family members. Sometimes the perpetrator gave the child gifts, treated them special, or the abuse created a pleasurable physiological response in the child. Victims having a favorable bodily reaction to sexual abuse is nothing to be ashamed of. This is a normal reaction to child sexual abuse. The perpetrator and anyone who protected the perpetrator are the only guilty people. Children are innocent.

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2 Responses to Key Principles and Facts about Child Sexual Abuse and Incest

  1. KevinF says:

    Excellent article, Alethea. Great description of what different people experience.

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