None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness: I am the Lord, (Leviticus 18:6).

In the book, The Perfect Prescription, incest is described as the sexual abuse of another human being by a close family member or relative. Incest can also take place between related and quasi-related individuals. Author and researcher, Dr. Christine A. Courtois observes that when the perpetrator of an incestuous relationship is older and much bigger or stronger or has the advantage of power differential, such as a parent with a child, a grandparent with a grandchild, an aunt with a nephew, or an uncle with a niece, then that incestuous expression becomes child abuse, too. Incest offenders usually prey on the trust of their victim and use it to manipulate them into submission. The effects of incestuous relationships on the victim can last a lifetime. Victims of incest tend to have emotional, relational and sexual scars that outlast the physical scars. The findings of a study by Bushnell and associates conducted among women aged 18-44 in New Zealand to assess potential long-term effects of intrafamilial sexual abuse during their childhood years demonstrated that incestuous sexual abuse during childhood were significantly associated with increased mental problems including depression, bulimia, and anxiety. The New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault Fact Sheet states that in the United, 46% of children who are raped are raped by their own family members and about 61% of victims of rape are raped before they are 18. Twenty-nine percent of these rapes take place when the victims are below 11 years old. About 11% of rape victims are raped by their own fathers or step fathers. Societal taboo against incest forces the victims to carry and keep to themselves this violation for many years. A child who is raped away from home can run home for safety and support but a child, who is sexually abused by a person at home, in the same family, has nowhere to run to for security. Sexual abuse by a father is one of the deepest betrayals a child can experience because, in the balance of power in the family, the father is a symbol of authority and security. Fathers betray their roles as protectors of their families when they rape their children. The father is supposed to protect everybody who comes under his roof from such violations. He is the head of the family, and power and authority differentials are skewed in his favor. Therefore, when the father becomes the perpetrator, the children feel trapped. An abused child has very little knowledge about therapeutic resources that might exist outside the family. As a consequence, recovery from the violation becomes very difficult. Although in all cases of incest, the survivors of incest know that there was nothing they could have done to prevent it, they still experience a sense of guilt and shame because of their involvement.

God foresaw millennia ago the devastation caused by incest, particularly to the victim and warned against it even before science discovered its adverse effects.

Learn more about the negative health outcomes of incestuous relations. Check out the book, The Perfect Prescription by Reigh Simuzoshya at: