What is Incest?

Incest is sexual abuse between blood or step-relatives. Also incest is when a foster brother or father molests you. Incest is defined as sexual contact, or sexualization among family members. If you are in foster care and your brother molests you this is incest. If you are molested by a foster father or stepfather, or stepbrother that is again incest.

photograph by Aviva Rowley. ©

One of the most common forms of incest is between stepfathers and stepdaughters. If you have at any time been forced to have sexual contact through genital touching, through the fondling of any parts of your body, through intercourse with a relative, then you have become a victim of incest. As with all sexual abuse, incest is the relationship between two people where one is in power and the other is not.

Sometimes incest will begin early in infancy, childhood, or pre-adolescence. Incest is a very deep wound because you have depended on and trusted the very person who is molesting you. Your world becomes confusing and you may not know who you can trust. You feel guilty and ashamed and frightened. When a man commits incest he borrows something very precious from a girl-- her body. He borrows it, but he can never own it. Perpetrators may train their victim's body to respond to physical touch, and if a girl feels any physical pleasure, this is not her fault and it does not mean she is enjoying the molestation. Her body is being physically manipulated. A girl's body, her spirit,her heart and soul are her own. The perpetrator can never take that away from a girl, he can only borrow it unkindly.

"Sometimes I feel like there is a blanket draped over me and I can no longer breathe. I want to disappear when he is forcing my body to do things it does not want to do, I wish I could suffocate under the blanket, I am too afraid to move." ...............Written by a 17 year old incest survivor.