I would say that what more commonly would prevent victims of abuse from seeking support is a norm that would dismiss their word against that of their abuser's, and at any rate does not see their abuse as particularly "negative" because it's all a perfectly natural thing and they probably really wanted it.
I don't follow your logic. You seem to be implying that the world and society we currently live in accepts incest as a perfectly natural thing that they probably really wanted. This contradicts my experience of societal reactions to incest. I'm really not sure what you're even saying here.
We've seen parallel norms play out for, say, child sexual abuse -- in Rotherham for example -- and environments where people aren't willing to "stigmatize" abuse turn out, surprise surprise, not to be pretty in any way at all.
I wrote pretty extensively in the other Rotherham thread, so forgive me if I keep my response here a little brief.
If you read through the official reports on Rotherham, the pattern you see emerging isn't one of permissive, liberal and understanding adults who thought that these children were embracing their sexuality and it was a very wonderful and liberating experience. Not one of them thought, "gee, I hope my son or daughter does the same." It's obvious that the adults involved who failed their duty of care thought something more along the lines of "they're dirty little sluts getting exactly what they deserve and no surprise they'll turn out to a bad end."
I believe you are mistaking cause and effect. You're reading, "not willing to stigmatize abuse" (using your slightly loaded phrase
) ergo they were people with horrible ugly notions. I would argue that in Rotherham they were people with horrible ugly notions and therefore the way in which they chose not to stigmatize the abuse was done in a horrible ugly way, much as if they had stigmatized abuse it would have been done in a horrible ugly way because that was the kind of people that they were.
Forgive the paraphrase being potentially a little inaccurate but one line that I remember being particularly striking from the report on a slightly different topic was the members of the Rotherham council were "incapable of taking a sensible approach to race." It wasn't that they were too politically correct, it was that they couldn't find politically correct on a map with two hours and a magnifying glass.
Ergo, trying to claim that "stigmatizing" the act of abuse is hurting the victims doesn't make sense to me; stigmatizing the act of abuse is precisely how you recognize that what's happening is wrong, that victims deserve support and a fair hearing, and that abusers can't be allowed to pass off their relationships with their victims as normal and consensual.
The victim was involved in the act and had experiences related to it. In that sort of vulnerable situation, especially when they rationalized themselves as having initiated the behaviour themselves as you were mentioning, do you really think they're not going to blame themselves and kept the abuse secret out of shame. There's a strong chance that some sexual gratification may have occurred during the victim's abuse which they're going to feel guilty about, you can acknowledge that potential occurrence without believing that it in any way justifies abuse (because lack of consent, intimidated consent, coerced consent, intoxicated consent, etc are all wrong regardless of what sensations or emotions the victim experiences).
Which of the following do you think is going to work best. "Incest is bad, it's disgusting and wrong." as the universal response to any occurrence of incest.
"Your father is in a position of authority over you. Any attraction, however genuine, that occurs there is something that he has a responsible to avoid because while you're under his power your ability to consent is always going to be under the influence of his control of your circumstances."
(if not father/child imagine a similar discussion of whichever other incestuous relationship is occurring highlighting the specific problems)
I've certainly never known anyone who was victimized by incest -- and I've known more than a few, sadly -- who thought it was a bad thing that society doesn't generally think incest is cool.
I've known three people who have had short term sexual encounters with siblings in two cases or a cousin in one, who don't consider themselves victimized. I unfortunately do know two more people who were most certainly victimized by family members and consider it as such. I know one more who has turned down an offer from a cousin that was presented as completely voluntary and had no further outcome in any way after she refused, she also stated that had it been a different cousin of hers she might have accepted the offer.
(Just for the record, none of these people are me, nor was I involved in any way with those incidents beyond later being informed about them)
(I mean, I get that you want to avoid stereotyping incest victims as Human Damage personified, and that's a worthy impulse, but that has to do with treating survivors as individuals and genuinely hearing their stories, it has nothing to do with avoiding "stigma" of the crime committed against them.)
To use an analogy, what I am suggesting is that we don't stigmatize sex so that we can discuss rape and certainly stigmatize the hell out of a lack of consent. If we still lived in a society where you couldn't even talk about BDSM sex, how could someone like Stoya have come out accusing James Deen of rape through not respecting her safe words. Our current level of stigma on sex and BDSM already has her at risk of being completely disregarded for working in the sex industry.
Likewise we shouldn't say that incest itself is dirty or wrong. We should say that adults in a position of power using that influence for sexual benefit or children exploiting each other in an unhealthy relationship for sexual benefit or any of the other abuses that can occur are completely in the wrong.
I'm not even saying that we should legalize it because honestly, I don't even know. There are definitely dangers that way. What I'm saying is that any two members of our society should be able to discuss incest the way we are now, without necessarily feeling that it's a topic too dark to cover and address rational concerns openly. May be slow to respond again, it's almost 4am here so I should get some sleep.