Sexual abuse is a crime in Texas, as it is in all of the United States. According to Psychology Today, sexual abuse between siblings is the most common form of sexual abuse within families. The abuse is often not reported, and victims often hide the truth until they’re adults.
If you’re the parent or guardian of a child, there are sibling sexual abuse facts you should know. The topic of sex offenses involving children might make you uncomfortable. However, learning more about it can help you protect the children in your life.
Sibling abuse is common
The verywellmind.com reports that sibling sexual abuse occurs more often than sexual abuse by a parent. And the abuse isn’t limited to biological siblings. In addition to biological siblings, this abuse can involve an adopted child, a foster child, a stepchild or any non-related child within the home.
According to the YWCA, 96 percent of child sexual abuse cases are committed by males. In the case of sibling sexual abuse, the abuse is usually committed by an older brother against a younger sister or brother. However, it’s also possible that an older sister could commit sexual abuse, as well.
Some victims of sibling sexual abuse remain silent. The victim might fear no one will believe them or that they will be blamed or punished for speaking up. The victim might also remain silent for fear of making their parents angry.
If a child is afraid or anxious around a sibling, that could indicate abuse. This is more likely if the child used to enjoy spending time with that sibling. The victim could also begin to display signs of depression or aggression.
Sibling sexual abuse can occur no matter the age, sex, race or sexual orientation of the siblings. You might want to talk with your child about what is and what isn’t appropriate touching. It will also help if the child knows it’s safe to tell you if any abuse occurs.