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Friday, March 19, 2010

There’s a Difference Between Love and Abuse

I prefer using the word consanguineous rather than incestuous, because the word incest has been given such a negative connotation. It is frequently lumped together with child rape and molestation.

Rape, assault, and molestation are and should be crimes, as they are perpetrated against someone who doesn’t or is unable to consent to being sexually touched. But while some rape is incestuous, not all incest is rape or molestation. Consensual incest is an expression of love, and it should not be a crime. Too many people say “incest” when they really mean rape by a family member. I wish they wouldn’t. Call it rape. Call it abuse.

And let's remember that there are people in nonconsanguineous relationships who experience abuse and domestic violence. The issue should not be consanguinity - it should be consenting love vs. coerced abuse.

If you have been attacked, assaulted, raped, or molested, please know that you are not alone and there is help. You should not be ashamed. Your attacker should be ashamed, and convicted, whether a family member, a stranger, or someone between.

One of the groups that can help is RAINN - Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network. Yes, the name does nothing to remove the negative connotation from “incest,” but they can still be helpful.

Another resource is Survivors of Incest Anonymous. Again, I wish the name was different, but I’m just glad there is help for anyone who was raped or molested by a family member.

Perhaps you have been experiencing some attraction to a family member, especially one you were previously separated from for a long time. Or, perhaps you aren’t but know of a family member who is feeling that way towards you. Whether those feelings are wanted, unwanted, or you’re not quite sure, you can find some support, sympathy, and advice at the GSA website.

But if you have, or are, experiencing attraction and love with a consenting family member, don’t let anyone put you down or interfere with your happiness. While we have a ways to go to reach equality under the law, consanguineous love is a beautiful thing. In a world with abuse and bitter family rifts and estrangement, we should never discourage loving intimacy.
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3 comments:

  1. Uhm...

    1)A brother and a sister have a consensual relationship and they are imprisoned because if incest was legal someone could coerce the weaker relatives: well done, 2 headsmen punished and 0 victims!

    2)A brother and a sister have a relationship and they're imprisoned because if incest was legal someone could coerce the weaker relatives, but their relationship was actually abusive: well done, the headsman received the fair punishment, but the law punished the victim too!

    And as I always say: the punishment of CONSENSUAL incest protects no victims, hurts the people involved and spends public money, why is it still illegal?!

    ReplyDelete
  2. There are other differences in terms, apart from "love and abuse," which are often misunderstood. My sister and I had a intimate relationship for 3 years whilst sharing an apartment attending the same out of town university. It was consensual, fulfilled in both our physical and emotional needs, and neither regret it. We do not come from a dysfunctional family, and only started making love after leaving school.
    For us we never had "sex" and certainly never fu**ed each other. We made love to each other, making certain to prevent and unwanted pregnancy. For both of us it was the most natural thing to do.
    Before making love the first time, we discussed and debated the issue at length. Eventually we realized that we regarded each other as the ideal partner, and that only societal prejudices and legal obstacles prevented us from doing what we regarded as natural and a logical step in our fraternal relationship. We decided to try it once, and should either have any qualms afterwards, that we would not do it again. As it happened, it was the start of a loving three year relationship. which only came to an end when we completed our studies and moved to different cities.
    For us, it always will be "making love" and not having sex. Of course the "taboo" aspect was a factor, and being physically unified with your sister is the ultimate form of fraternal love. Siblings can never be closer.....

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous, thank you so much for your comment and for sharing your beautiful experience with us. Always feel free to comment or contact me via email.

      Delete

To prevent spam, comments will have to be approved, so your comment may not appear for several hours. Feedback is welcome, including disagreement. I only delete/reject/mark as spam: spam, vulgar or hateful attacks, repeated spouting of bigotry from the same person that does not add to the discussion, and the like. I will not reject comments based on disagreement, but if you don't think consenting adults should be free to love each other, then I do not consent to have you repeatedly spout hate on my blog without adding anything to the discourse.

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