History

Incest is a very neglected social problem in the United States.
 
    Incest is defined as sexual intercourse between persons so closely related that they are forbidden by law to marry. 
 
    Incest could occur in many different ways such as: brother/ sister, cousin/cousin, father/daughter, mother/son, and also among family members that are the same sex.
 
    In the United States incest is always a statutory offense. Sharing the English background of the punishment for incest being originally entrusted to ecclesiastical authorities, the crime never existed at common law in the United States and was created by statute at varying times in the different states. In Utah, where the Mormon community did not disapprove of incestuous relationships, incest did not become a criminal offense until a statute of 1892. The concept of incest as a crime in United States jurisdictions is generally much wider than in England.
 
    In different cases and in differnet states  sexual inter-course between stepfather and stepdaughter (Georgia), between stepmother and stepson (Indiana), and even between brother-in-law and sister-in-law (Ohio) may amount to incest.
 
    In all states incest is a felony or, at the least, a high misdemeanor. In-cestuous rape is frequently punishable with life imprisonment.  On average the maximum time receive for incest is 10 years.
 
  • Psychological and Sociological issues include: individual's capacity to have an ordinary social relationship, confusion of role's within the family, blaming of one's self, difficulty with other sexual relationships, and depression.
  • Coping Mechanisms: self-mutilation, substance and drug abuse, eating disorders, and disociation.
This is some important information that you should know according to RAINN.org

 

Warning Signs

Physical Signs
  • Difficulty walking or sitting
  • Bloody, torn, or stained underclothes
  • Bleeding, bruises, or swelling in genital area
  • Pain, itching, or burning in genital area
  • Frequent urinary or yeast infections
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections, especially if under 14 years old
  • Pregnancy, especially if under 14 years old

Behavioral Signs
  • Reports sexual abuse
  • Inappropriate sexual knowledge
  • Inappropriate sexual behavior
  • Nightmares or bed-wetting
  • Large weight changes/major changes in appetite
  • Suicide attempts or self-harming, especially in adolescents
  • Shrinks away or seems threatened by physical contact
  • Runs away
  • Overly protective and concerned for siblings, assumes a caretaker role
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or Rape Trauma Syndrome symptoms

Common Reactions

  • Withdrawal
  • Depression
  • Sleeping & eating disorders
  • Self-mutilation
  • Phobias
  • Psychosomatic symptoms (stomachaches, headaches)
  • School problems (absences, drops in grades)
  • Poor hygiene/excessive bathing
  • Anxiety
  • Guilt
  • Regressive behaviors - thumb-sucking, etc.


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