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Sibling Sexual Abuse and Incest During Childhood


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#1 Paulabrave

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 10:18 AM

I noticed the article regarding “Sibling Sexual Abuse and Incest During Childhood” located at http://www.pandys.or...exualabuse.html

The article is awesome and brings a serious problem to light and for that I am extremely grateful for the person/ that put together the article.

I have one question about the following paragraph:

Like all sexual abuse, behaviors which are regarded to be abusive are varied and numerous. Therefore sibling sexual abuse can include touching, kissing, masturbation, oral sex and penetrative sex. However, perhaps more frequently than found in adult – child sexual abuse, sibling sexual abuse is frequently non – touching. Non - touching sexual abuse may involve introducing a much younger child to pornography, or insisting on watching them in the shower, or telling them to watch them masturbate.

Is there references to support the following statements? - “However, perhaps more frequently than found in adult – child sexual abuse, sibling sexual abuse is frequently non – touching. Non - touching sexual abuse may involve introducing a much younger child to pornography, or insisting on watching them in the shower, or telling them to watch them masturbate”

Although this statement may be true for many sibling sexual abuse survivors, research has shown that many more survivors have experienced more "hands-on" abuse. I would like to suggest that this statement would either be extracted or changed to support the current research that sibling sexual abuse acts typically shows a longer duration, more intrusive, greater number of acts of abuse (O’Brien 1991, de Jong 1989) These observations generally confirmed in local programs such as NSAS (NSW) and CPS (Victoria) (Hatch 2002).

Thank you so much for your time and consideration. - Muddy

Below are excerpts of journals and books that support my findings:

O'Brien (1991) compared the offending patterns of sibling offenders with other teenage sex offenders. Sibling abusers admitted to more sexual offences, had a longer offending history and a majority engaged in more intrusive sexual behaviour than other adolescent sex offenders. The sibling perpetrator has more access to the victim and exists within a structure of silence and guilt (O'Brien, 1991; Laviola, 1992;Wiehe, 1990).

Sibling Incest - Mary J. Phillips-Green - The Family Journal 2002; 10; 195 - DOI: 10.1177/1066480702102009

Rayment and Owen report that "compared the offending patterns of sibling offenders with other teenage sex offenders [...] Sibling abusers admitted to more sexual offences, had a longer offending history and a majority engaged in more intrusive sexual behaviour than other adolescent sex offenders. The sibling perpetrator has more access to the victim and exists within a structure of silence and guilt."

S. Rayment and N Owen. (1999) WORKING WITH INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES WHERE SIBLING INCEST HAS OCCURRED: THE DYNAMICS, DILEMMAS AND PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS. Paper presented at the Children and Crime: Victims and Offenders Conference convened by the Australian Institute of Criminology and held in Brisbane, 17–18 June 1999

O’Brien (1991) studied the characteristics of 170 adolescent male sexual offenders who had been referred for evaluation and/or treatment to an outpatient mental health clinic. The offenders were subdivided into three groups: sibling sexual abusers, child molesters (nonfamily child victims), and non-child offenders. Compared with the child molesters and non-child offenders, the sibling sexual abusers admitted committing more sexual crimes, had longer offending careers, and generally engaged in more intrusive sexual behavior, such as vaginal penetration. O’Brien concluded that this was because the sibling victim is easily available to the perpetrator, and the context of secrecy in which the sexual abuse occurs in the family prevents early disclosure.

Wiehe, V. R. (1997) Sibling abuse: Hidden physical, emotional, and sexual trauma, 2nd edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

Rudd and Herzberger report that brothers who committed incest were more likely to use force than fathers who commit incest (64% vs. 53%). Similarly, Cyr and colleagues found that about 70% of sibling incest involved sexual penetration, substantially higher than other forms of incest.

Rudd, J. M., and Herzberger, S. D. (1999). Brother-sister incest/father-daughter incest: A comparison of characteristics and consequences. Child Abuse and Neglect, 23, pp. 915-928. Cyr, M., Wright, J., McDuff, P., & Perron, A. (2002). Intrafamilial sexual abuse: Brother-sister incest does not differ from father-daughter and stepfather-stepdaughter incest. Child Abuse and Neglect, 26, p. 957-973.

The following website is also very helpful in providing useful information about sibling sexual abuse: http://www.sossainfo.org/SOSSA.html

#2 Guest_prayn4peace_*

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 10:48 AM

I just got done reading the article, and I'm going to have to side with what you wrote, and your findings. From the people I've discussed sibling incest and abuse, the acts were very physical. I noticed that the references this person was using were extremely out dated (one from 1978). As the article stated, incest by itself is taboo and often misunderstood, leading people to believe the behavior was consensual. Sibling sexual abuse, albeit more accurate, almost has a "sanitized" sound to it. Personally, I think Inner Family R*, gives more of a true accounting of what it is. I wonder if we don't have a writer amongst our midst that couldn't do a more updated and accurate portrayal to post on here. Just my two cents.

#3 Kate

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 04:46 AM

Susan replied to your other post in the Types thread about sibling sexual abuse - I've removed those posts though to keep the Types thread on track, we've been discussing your request :)

#4 Katy

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 05:00 AM

Muddywaters: Thank you for the points you raised Muddywaters - and for providing the references that you did. I am looking at potentially editing the article to include reference to the points you raised. Although I do not have a specific reference to back up the point raised about the fact that sibling csa is frequently non-touching, I do have enough experience within this area to believe this is the case. I am very aware that sibling csa is also often "hands on", which I make reference to within the article. Whether the abuse is hands-on or hands-off it is obviously incredibly distressing for the survivor. Anyway, I thank you for taking the time to suggest ways in which this article could be improved - and we're looking at incorporating this information within the article.



Prayn4Peace: As the author of that article, I feel I have to comment on your "two cents".

I noticed that the references this person was using were extremely out dated (one from 1978).
I wonder if we don't have a writer amongst our midst that couldn't do a more updated and accurate portrayal to post on here.


I am a survivor and a volunteer moderator of this site - and, as other moderators here, I have written and submitted articles to Pandys for other survivors and secondaries to refer to. I am not a researcher, a therapist, an academic, or a professional journalist / writer - and nor do I profess to be. As the other moderators here, I write from my own personal experience and, I hasten to add, give up my own time to do so! Our articles are generally written from the comfort of our own homes with limited resources as we do not have the luxury of having subscriptions to expensive online journals where we may be able to access more "up to date" references. Yes, one of the references is from 1978 - but this doesn't make the research invalid (if that was the case we would have to invalidate Einstein's Theory of Relativity published in 1915 and Watson & Crick's 1953 publication on the double helix structure of DNA) - and the majority of the research referenced in this article is within the last 20 years. If this article does not reach your standards then I wish you luck in finding an article that is more useful to you.


#5 Guest_prayn4peace_*

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 09:25 AM

Katy, I feel as I owe you an apology. My goal was not to attack anyone and I do not wish to trivialize your efforts. I did not realize this article was the effort of a member here. I thought it was brought to us by an "expert" who had done research, albeit to my reference of possibly having a writer on here to do more up to date research. Had I known that it was from a member I probably would have addressed this differently, or not commented at all, as my perspective would have been different. I'm not a fan of people who write on subjects that have only limited knowledge or their knowledge only comes from reading books, which does not appear to be the case here, as you have told me that you're a survivor as well. I was reading it from that perspective.

As to my comment about the 1978 reference let me say this. I used to renovate older homes, and as a result, I used to come across a lot of old newspapers and magazines from the late 1800 and early 1900's. One such article comes to mind as I'm thinking of this. It was a judge in Chattanooga TN that denied a woman the right to divorce her husband on the grounds of spousal abuse. The judge was quoted as saying that "every once in a while a woman needs to be disciplined for a man to keep control of his household" and went on to say that if every woman that was hit was allowed to divorce her husband then there would be no married couples. I'm glad that type of thinking is erroneous by today's standards, and in the 70's (which is when I had to deal with the police over my CSA), it was only beginning to start getting recognition as a public issue. It was considered a "family issue", most people were still very uncomfortable about the subject, and most victims often did not tell the full truth (which still applies today), often lessening the severity of what actually took place.

I in no way mean to offend you or anyone else on here and offer my sincere apology. I will be more careful in how I reply in the future.

Edited by prayn4peace, 27 January 2011 - 09:26 AM.


#6 Paulabrave

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 11:23 AM

(((Katy)))

I am extremely grateful for your article and time that you have put in as a moderator. I would be far more isolated without this site for support. I have found that the subject of “sibling sexual abuse” is very difficult to talk or write about, especially as a survivor of sibling CSA, so I value your words because you are doing something that I am not able to do without experiencing a lot of personal pain.

My comments were for consideration only. This was actually a big step for me and I am glad that we can have this open dialog. I am by no means an expert. I get my journal articles for free through my public library. I am just another survivor trying to make sense out of the yucky stuff from my childhood.

I have no problem with the quote from 1978. Although I have never felt like I am cheating on my brother, I have talked to other sibling CSA survivors that do feel that way.

(((Prayn4Peace)))

Thank you so much for your support. I also dealt with CSA issues in the 70s and the ER that received me after one of my brother’s assaults on me felt this was a family issue and released me to go home with instructions for frequent soaks in salt water baths until I healed up. Nothing else was said or done and the assaults continued until he moved out of my parent’s home. The 70s was just the beginning of better child protection laws. I am glad this topic can be openly discussed and there are better laws to protect today’s children.

I really appreciate your time and consideration.

Thanks. – Muddywater

#7 bronte

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 02:06 PM

Muddywater,
thanks for that.

Edited by bronte, 29 January 2011 - 01:42 PM.


#8 Ash

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 03:06 PM

I just wanted to add that if anyone has done research or wants to write an article for our resources section, we're always willing to accept articles for consideration to be posted!

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 06:06 PM

I just got back from a intake session with my son's counselor, and I've been up all night, so I'm hoping my head is clear enough to say what I want to say without self-triggering or triggering someone else.

I think because of the dynamics of sibling/incest CSA, we, the victims are forced into a coercion that is often not found in other areas of abuse other than maybe DV/SA. I am not trying to trivialize anyone's pain by saying that. This is not a "my abuse was worse than yours" situation. I've read a lot of the stories on here, and I have such empathy for everyone on here that I want to just bring everyone to one spot in the world to protect them, which is my nature. With that being said, to have to live with and interact in "normal family settings" I believe revictimizes the child on a daily basis. We grow up thinking this behavior is normal because the people that "love" us are doing this. We grow up thinking this is love, and I believe it saturates every aspect of our lives. It affects our relationships, how we raise our children, our jobs, our ability to trust and believe people,and in general interacting with the public. Our perception of reality was completely tainted. These were the people we loved, saw daily, interacted with, shared meals with......all under the pretenses that everything was ok. We carried our shame with us in all aspects of our daily lives (often for years) during and after the abuse, and all too often have to continue to revisit this due to current situations, so it's not suprising we have so many triggers, or "swiss cheese" memories. I believe for myself at least, that's why this becomes very....for lack of a better word........personal, when it comes to discussing this.

Ash, I will consider what you wrote. I don't know if I'm in a place to actually do the research, but I'm leaning towards it, simply because I see this as a challenge, and as I've stated so many times, I believe in proactive behaviors. The more I attack what's bothering me, the better I'm able to deal with this. So, I'll consider writing an article, and put my money where my mouth is so to speak. Having said that, I want to reiterate what I said in my last post. I do appreciate the effort that was made, and am not attacking anyone. I simply feel like there is more here, and I feel like if we leave it unsaid, that those people that come to pandy's looking for information won't get the whole story. Unlike bronte, I was heard, and I was able to see justice, I just had to do it kicking and screaming. Anyhow, ty for reading, and please, let's not let this be a hindering to healing.

#10 Kate

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 06:29 PM

Hi Bronte,

I'm really sorry for what your brother did to you :hug: (if okay). I see you've removed the text of your last post, but I wanted to address what you were saying as I feel it is really important. I want to assure you that nobody here has said that sibling abuse is any less abusive than other types of abuse - we have many members on the board who have experienced this abuse, including staff members, and it would be hurtful and totally wrong to suggest that. I'm not sure if perhaps you have misread the intent of this post and the article mentioned? The article in question has clearly pointed out that sibling abuse involves rape and other types of physical sexual abuse, but also mentioned that there are other types of coercive abuse that can take place as well - it also discussed the invalidation caused by people considering sexual abuse by siblings as a "game" or "just experimentation". Talking about the coercive aspect of abuse some survivors may experience is not to minimise the sexual abuse experienced in any way, but to help those survivors who may feel like their abuse wasn't "that bad" because they weren't raped by their sibling - I hope you can understand and see the difference there, and see that there is no intent to minimise at all. Also, the point of the article is not whether the abuse was violent or "non-violent" (though there is really no such thing!), "coercive" or not - it is just a space to help those who have been abused by a sibling hopefully recognise what happened for what it is.

In my experience, I was raped by a partner, and was also sexually abused by my kindergarten teacher. A lot of my abuse was quite violent, but there were also aspects of coercion involved, so I understand that coercion is not at all something unique to sibling abuse. I don't think talking about one aspect of abuse that some survivors experience in any way belittles aspects that other survivors experience. Not all survivors of sexual abuse perpetrated by a sibling have experienced coercion, but that doesn't mean it can't be included as one aspect of sexual abuse that some survivors who were hurt by a sibling might experience - just as when talking about date rape, some survivors would have experienced coercion and some would have have experienced physical force. I don't think any type is necessarily worse than the other, and I don't think it is invalidating to mention various ways in which a person might be abused. It is important to discuss as many different types of abuse as possible, so a person who says "Oh, I was only shown pornography by my brother", or "oh, my brother only touched me sometimes" can start to recognise that these things are sexual abuse, as much as any other type and as valid as any other type of abuse. It is not to invalidate, but to empower - not to minimise, but to allow people to give a name to abuse that might have been ignored by others, explained away as "just games", or "just kids being kids".

Pandy's is not a place where people's experiences are invalidated, we all go to a great deal of trouble to ensure that. If you feel somebody has suggested something that you find invalidating, please let us know and we will review it. We've all experienced enough secondary hurt in our lives, this is not the place I want anybody to feel it again.

We welcome members submitting articles and are happy to review them. Writing articles is something we all try to do, but honestly after a day of work, of life, of our own healing, and then coming to do several hours of volunteer work here - every day - it can be difficult for us to find the time to update these articles or refine them. We need your help as well.

Take gentle care,
Kate

#11 bronte

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 08:08 PM

i realise it is great that people have taken the trouble to write articles.
just the Pandy's article didn't work for me.
:hug:

bronte

Edited by bronte, 29 January 2011 - 02:07 PM.


#12 Kate

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 08:18 PM

Hi Bronte,

That's fine - we all have different opinions on things. Please PM one of us if you would like something changed, and we will look into it for you. We are always, always open to feedback, but there is little we can do if we aren't aware there is a problem. Send me or any other mod a message, we would be glad to hear from you.

Take care,
Kate

#13 Ash

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Posted 29 January 2011 - 09:41 PM

Hey guys,

Since this thread has gotten a bit off track from the original post, I'm going to lock it. We have a thread here for discussing sibling abuse, or you're always free to start your own topic if there are particular details you want to discuss.

If you have specific comments or suggestions about this article (or another one) please contact a board mod. We do like to hear feedback about the articles we write! And as I mentioned before, we love to have members contribute articles to our collection as well :)


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