Incest, sexual intercourse between close family members other than husband and wife. In many areas, laws have extended the meaning to include any kind of sexual contact. Incest is fairly common despite its cultural and legal prohibition in most places. Adults who have incestuous relations with children can be criminally prosecuted.
Children or adolescents who are victims of incest often experience psychological problems. Victims sometimes repress memories of incest until they are well into adulthood.
Victims of incest can seek help through local social service agencies, schools, hospitals, and police departments.