Those who commit incest have twisted logic, say criminologists
KUALA LUMPUR: Those guilty of committing incest often justify it as their way of educating the victim on sexual matters, criminology experts said.
Criminologist Dr Mohammad Rahim Kamaluddin said the offenders tended to exhibit distorted thinking, belief or reasoning patterns such as giving sex lessons to the victims.
He said they did not consider the act as illegal, but as their responsibility to teach their child, sibling, grandchild or other specific family members about sex.
This, he said, was commonly used as justification to mitigate their feelings of guilt.
Rahim said this was usually prevalent among father-daughter relationships and between siblings.
“For a father-daughter incest, he feels responsible to teach her sexual relations.
“Some of them feel that ‘Since I am providing everything for her, it is okay if I do this’… these men like to claim ownership.
“As in most incest cases between siblings, they do not feel it wrong to do it with the same gender, but will consider immoral if it is committed with the opposite sex.
“Some also feel that the victims are under their custody and control. They feel confident that they can perform a sexual act as it is easier to manipulate and hide it from others,” he told the New Straits Times yesterday.
Incest, Rahim said, was not predictable but the first thing people should do was stop condoning such an act, regardless of who was involved.
He said in certain Asian cultures, incest tended to go unreported as people wished to protect their family honour.
“They (the offender and family members) try to gain sympathy from the victim, it is ignored and the abuse continues.
“Look for signs such as their walking gait… If the victim was sodomised, he or she might be in pain and have difficulty walking. “If a particular person is afraid of another family member, there must be something wrong.
“Bring them to counselling sessions or have discussions without the presence of the person they fear,” he said.
Another criminology expert, Datuk Akhbar Satar, said those who committed incest had improper access to their children.
He said when the offenders had no other “source” to have legitimate sexual relations, they would simply grab the children to satisfy their lust.
“Moreover, the victims are usually too scared to report such encounters. Offenders are usually ‘high’ on sexual images and are obsessed with pornography that they hallucinate rape scenes.
“There are those who also use rape as a ‘tool’ for punishment.”
Rahim and Akhbar said it was time Malaysians were more sensitive to their surroundings and not take a passive stand.
Rahim said: “Be proactive. Whether it happens or not is secondary. The priority is to eradicate it. Don’t be a bystander.
“The legal system and authorities have done their best to protect the children, especially with the new Special Court for Sexual Crimes Against Children.” By Tasnim Lokman
Dr Mohammad Rahim Kamaluddin
Datuk Akhbar Satar