How to Counsel Sibling Sexual Abuse – – As children advance in age, they transcend developmental stages, and healthy sexual exploration is typical. From a young age, kids tend to play mum and dad with one another. Soon, it can change into them rubbing their genitals before going to sleep. All these behaviors follow the due course of development. When curiosity piques, children will begin to ask questions about what they see in various media and changes in their bodies.
However, things can go south within siblings, and rapid response is vital. Imagine a fourteen-year-old brother who insists on seeing his thirteen-year-old sister’s genitals. That is unacceptable. The elder sibling will disguise such an act as play, but guardians and parents should not fall for those flimsy excuses and tackle the growing menace. Sibling sexual abuse is a misuse of power or authority that will only worsen if left unattended.
To counsel siblings caught up in sexual abuse, you must understand the factors leading to it.
CAUSES OF SIBLING SEXUAL ABUSE
Past Experience of Sexual Abuse
Children who have been sexually abused in the past by older people, either family or strangers, resort to aggression. They tend to coax, boss around, and recreate their sordid experiences with their younger ones. Such children will subject their brothers or sisters to second-hand abuse. It is vital to know whether the abuser has been victimized or intruded sexually.
Access to Pornography
When pornographic materials are left lying around children, they tend to imitate the adult sexual behavior carried out in the content.
Lack of Sex Education
Sex education should commence early and appropriately. Children deserve to know and understand their bodies, and this education will guide their sexual exploration and deaden the risk of sexual intrusive behaviors.
Socialization is progressive. Jumping some steps in this gradual progress can hurt a child’s perception and cause sexual abuse between siblings. Children who aren’t allowed to mingle with their peers or are locked indoors tend to abuse their younger ones.
HOW TO COUNSEL THE AFFECTED PARTIES
Most parents don’t know the enormity of clashes between their kids. It is easy for them to assume that arguments and tussles are mere sibling rivalry. Sibling rivalry is no small case, and the same goes for sibling sexual abuse.
After knowing for sure that there is ongoing sexual abuse, notify the parents.
Now, the concept is clear. There is real work to do. Sometimes, awareness and safety boundaries are sufficient within the home, but it does not work every time. In aggravated cases of sibling sexual abuse, implement more concrete interventions.
To date, there is no evidence-based program for resolving sibling sexual abuse. However, some have worked for children caught up in abuse like;
- Play therapy
- Trauma-focused cognitive behavior therapy
- Game-based cognitive behavior therapy
Parents are not left out. There are parenting programs to equip fathers and mothers with knowledge and skills to prevent child abuse and neglect.
A sibling fondling another portrays a warped idea of sexuality. There is a lot of learning and unlearning to undergo. Discuss with children about sexuality, educate them with age-appropriate books and movies, and answer their questions. Also, the kind of company a child keeps can make or mar their sexual perception. Keep tabs on their friends and ask how their day went.
The word respect is often thrown around but not emphasized enough in vital areas of life. One such area is bodily respect. No one should have a free pass to touch people as they like; age and consent are necessary considerations. Teach the children to own their bodies and demand respect from others for them.
This content is purely from a subjective viewpoint. Every person and situation is different. We urge every family dealing with sibling abuse to immediately contact counseling.
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