Many residents of Texas survive sexual abuse. Many who experience it during their childhood suffer at the hands of a sibling. It is more common than many parents realize.
Understanding sibling sexual abuse
When people think about sexual abuse within families, they often think about a parent molesting a child. In reality, siblings are far more likely to perpetrate sexual abuse. According to the United States Department of Justice, one-third of all sex offenses children experience are committed by other minors, usually a sibling. Unfortunately, when one sibling sexually abuses another, it often goes unreported.
Signs of sibling sexual abuse
Parents should be aware of the signs and symptoms of sibling sexual abuse. If one of their children is a victim, they might exhibit changes in their activities. For example, a child who normally enjoys a certain hobby might lose interest and become withdrawn.
Younger children being abused by a sibling often engage in unusual behaviors with their toys. They might use dolls and show sexual situations between them. It’s also common for kids to show fear of a sibling and avoid them as much as possible if that sibling is abusing them.
If one of your children is being sexually abused by another, they might show other signs such as a change in their eating habits. Children might begin wetting the bed years after they stopped. Their moods might shift as well from happy to depressed, angry or sad.
A child might have trouble in school and with peers as well. Sibling sexual abuse can lead to children behaving inappropriately with other kids.
Parents should be proactive when learning that their child is the victim of sibling sexual abuse. In some cases, an older sibling might perpetrate abuse because they’ve been a victim themselves. Professional help would be necessary for both kids.