Jill Ruspi, Gaithersburg, MD

Incest Is Not Love


Created in response to an Internet challenge to depict the abuse some children experience, this quilt demonstrates the isolation and fear experienced when incest occurs. We hear regularly in the newspapers and television about children being abused, sometimes the abuse ends in a tragic death.

Of all the forms of abuse, incest is the most SILENT. In most cultures it is forbidden by law and/or by cultural morality. It is treated as a "dirty" subject in our society. What then of the child who is victimized? Whether boy or girl, younger or older, the child feels trapped by feelings of betrayal, fear, guilt, isolation, and sadness. The very people the child must depend upon for nurturing and safety often are the perpetrators, or are often enablers for the abuse to occur.

If you think this is "crazy," that incest doesn't occur often, you are wrong. As victims speak out more often, the frequency is chilling. In many families all or several children are victimized, sometimes by more than one relative.

As the title of my piece states, "Incest is NOT love." It should NOT occur, but it does. My piece portrays the sense of a child being behind bars, unable to stop or affect the abuse. The child is helpless and is terrified of the situation, but, being the child, cannot stop the abuse. Only the adults in our lives, our families, our societies, can stop this abuse and let the poor children out of their individual prisons.

26.5 X 21.5 inches

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