Of the women who call Vancouver Rape Relief for being victims of sexual assault or rape, 27% were sexually abused in their childhood.
Of these 27 %, 47% were victims of incest, meaning that the abuser was an adult family member.
When large numbers of girls are targeted for sexual abuse
by men who are supposed to love and care for them, and who are in positions of both trust and
authority, this forms a key component of the male violence against women and girls that creates
and sustains the intersecting inequalities of sex and age. In other words, the patriarchal family
structure facilitates and shields from view fathers who sexually abuse their daughters
To heal from the trauma of incest or early sexual abuse, we need to tell our stories to people who understand what we have experienced. Talking with others in counseling or in special support groups for women with a history of incest breaks the silence, helps us to gain perspective and know we are not alone, eases the pain and helps us feel healthier and stronger.
Incest, the sexualization of children cast in Procrustean form, has been transmogrified—hijacked. From a political issue framed by feminists as one of male violence against women and children—a sexual offense on the part of men, for which we demanded accountability, and censure—incest has, in these years, been coopted and re-formulated by the therapeutic ideology, as an illness in women, to be treated. In children, it is a prediction of illness to be treated.
We correctly identified the permission for men to molest their own
children as a method by which girl children learned, at a very tender
age, their sexual vulnerability, their status as sexual objects for male