When I wrote FALLOUT: A Survivor Talks to Incest Offenders, I was unwilling to take a stance on whether the victim should “tell” or not.
“Some readers may be surprised that I don’t give victims advice as to whether to tell or not but only suggest an alternative via escaping the incestuous situation. There are several reasons for this. First, the justice system is flawed; enough said. Second, the family suffers economic hardship, often losing the house and car, both vital to continual survival. Third, the victim experiencing additional guilt. Fourth, too much taxpayer money is not only going down the drain , but in many instances doing harm, as inmates become hardened by the prison experience. Fifth, incarceration doesn’t seem to solve the problem.” (p 261).
“The victim cannot seek support in deciding whether to report or not, and is actually as trapped as she feels, especially with the current reporting laws.
“When incest is suspected, social workers usually urge victims to ‘tell,’ so the family member can get the help he needs,” they are doing their job but misleading the victim.”
“According to Gaddini (1983, 357), “Years after the incest, survivors who did not report usually wished they had, and those who did report wished they had not.” (Quoted by Mykel, 162).