Sibling sexual abuse is as traumatic as sexual abuse by a parent (or any other form of sexual abuse) and has a lasting impact on the victim. Studies have shown that sibling abuse often includes the most serious forms of abuse. However, in spite of this, sibling sexual abuse is more likely to be overlooked, normalized and discounted by families and the wider community. This minimization by others can mean that survivors themselves are less likely to view their experiences as abuse and also find it more difficult to talk about. Like all forms of sexual abuse, sibling sexual abuse (sibling incest) is an abuse of power, where the more powerful sibling abuses the less powerful. Power can be physical, intellectual or emotional. Sibling abuse is sexual contact between siblings who are of a different age, size, strength or developmental level. Sibling sexual abuse often, but not always, involves some form of force, manipulation or intimidation. Sibling incest can involve forms of non-contact abuse, such as forcing another to view pornography or exposing of genitals. In most cases, sibling sexual abuse does not occur in isolation but alongside physical and/or emotional abuse. The term sibling includes all children who grow up together in the same family, including step, foster and adopted children. Survivors of sibling incest often describe spending their childhood in fear, unable to tell anyone of their abuse for fear of being blamed, not believed or suffering retaliation. This fear, along with shame surrounding the ‘incest taboo’, can mean the victim’s silence extends over the years of childhood, and for some, continuing into adulthood. For those who did speak out, many report being further harmed by their families response, with the abuse being ignored, excused or worse still, the victim blamed. http://www.secasa.com.au/pages/sibling-sexual-abuse-information-for-adults-abused-as-children/
In my family, you can rot to hell
on the inside as long as you’re
flawless on the outside,
which is really sick,
but also hard to unlearn.