Incest is abnormal

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INCEST is wrong, illegal and abnormal, regardless of how engrained it may be in a family’s lifestyle. Yet there are some grandmothers (and other relatives) who believe that because they were sexually abused as a child and their daughter(s) were subjected to the same fate, it is a rite of passage for their granddaughters to also be sexually molested and therefore they turn a blind eye. But it’s time to speak out: it is time for family members to break the cycle. Consistent sexual abuse of children is occurring in homes across Guyana and indeed the world, but this is unacceptable and we must do all we can to change it.
This perverse act is detrimental to the health and well-being of children: and while the perpetrator may derive pleasure and satisfaction from his actions, it remains a twisted act of depravity and is ultimately wrong. The mere thought of a sexual act towards a child stems from a warped mind. A mind where power and control over a helpless person is a key factor: definitively, it is the act of a deranged person.
When these types of incestuous relationships occur, the child victim is totally powerless to complain or to seek help from authorities. One reason could be that the perpetrator has tricked the child into believing that they will not be believed. Another reason is family loyalties. Children love and respect their family members regardless, therefore, well-kept family secrets become the norm. Unwittingly, the child therefore ends up protecting the perpetrator.
Adults are meant to protect and assist children into becoming rounded, well-balanced adults. But so many children are being robbed of the opportunity to experience a ‘normal’ life, because members of their family, who are meant to be nurturing and guiding them, are conspirators to the sexual abuse to which they are subjected. Only people with a debased mentality would accept that children deserve to be mistreated in this way.
The Protection of Children Act, 2009, states that anyone who suspects or knows that a child is being sexually abused and fails to report the same to authorities is committing a crime and is liable to conviction and/or a fine of $50,000. It is every adult’s duty to protect the children in their care, in their family and in their community. If child abuse is even suspected, it should be reported to the Childcare and Protection Agency’s Hotline on 227-0979 or to a child protection officer on 227-4082.
(A True Story) A doctor delivered a baby girl at a hospital in Essequibo some time ago. The baby and mother were doing fine; the only odd thing was, the mother was a 12- year- old girl and the baby’s father, was her father. The mother came to visit her daughter and grandchild and the doctor stood aside to look on at the situation. In his mind, he knew the correct thing to do was to report the father to the authorities for sexual abuse and incest. But morally he also knew that the father was the breadwinner of the family and if he were arrested and convicted, the mother, daughter and baby would have no financial means of support and all three would suffer. The doctor was in a dilemma. The fact that women and children are dependent on their menfolk, is this one of the reasons some men believe it is okay to sexually abuse them?
Well, it’s not okay; if we do nothing to confront these situations, then nothing will change. Last week was Sexual Assault Awareness Week, the objective of which was to build adult awareness to the plight of women and children who are consistently sexually assaulted — many in their own homes. Sexual assault is defined as ‘when someone does not give consent to sexual intercourse.’ When sexual intercourse is forced upon a woman or child, it is rape. The facts are clear: it is against the law and is in fact a heinous crime. Can you think of anyway in which you can help to support and protect women and children from sexual abuse? Don’t be afraid to make a report or get involved.
If you are concerned about the welfare of a child you can ring the numbers given above or email childcaregy@gmail.com
A Message from the Childcare and Protection Agency, Ministry of Social Protection