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Linda Settles

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Challenging The Archaic Term 'incest'
By Linda Settles   
Rated "PG13" by the Author.
Last edited: Saturday, June 19, 2010
Posted: Saturday, June 19, 2010

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Let's call it: intra-family child sexual abuse or I-CSA. To label the child 'unchaste or defiled' transfers the perpetrators shame onto the victim.


Please don't call it INCESTthat's a ugly word and it makes me feel ugly.

No one who has experienced sexual violation by someone she (or he) loves and trusts will want to hear the word incest.  Have you noticed how most people lower their voice when they utter the word?  No wonder.  The word comes from two Latin words which mean 'defiled' and 'unchaste.' No one means to define the child who has been abused by a loved one by these terms, but we all do.  We use the term incest because no one has ever pointed out the ugly meaning of the word.  The victim of intra-family child sexual abuse has experienced a trauma (or multiple traumas) that may interfere with normal childhood development, rob her of her ability to trust, and debilitate her sense of self. Let's place the shame of I-CSA where it belongs, on the shoulders of the perpetrator--the one who did everything in his (or her) power to debilitate an innocent child.



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