Violence UnSilenced Story – Revised and Revived

My story from September 29, 2011 was removed from the Violence Unsilenced Website. http://violenceunsilenced.com  I completely understand why.  My story was fragmented, rambling, and difficult to understand.  It is clear I was in an extreme amount of pain at that time.  I have salvaged what I thought was worth keeping and tried to clean it up in a more understandable format.

Here is the edited form of the story …

The following are the sexual abusive acts my brothers either did to me or did in front of me using some form of force, manipulation, and/or intimidation while I was between the ages of 5 – 11 years old during the 1970s:

Violence Labeled:

Types of Abuses Oldest Brother 2nd Oldest Brother
Hands-off Abuse (In my presence):
·         Verbal Sexual Taunting & cruel mockery me X X
·         Sexual Grooming of me X X
·         Sexual Acts between brothers X X
·         Full Frontal Nudity X X
·         Masturbation X X
·         Exposure to Pornography X X
·         Encouraging and Viewing other brother rape me while he masturbated. X
Hands-on Abuse to me:
·         Sexual fondling, touching, or sexual contact X
·         Oral to genital contact X
·         Attempted intercourse (Simulated Sex) X
·         Actual intercourse (Rape) X
·         Physical injuries resulting from rapes X
·         Visit to the ER as a result of one sever physical injury X
  • The oldest brother fully admitted and took responsibility for his part and has shown full remorse for his part. He agreed with my memory of what was done to me.
  • The 2nd oldest brother minimized his actions, blamed me, and gave numerous excuses. He never showed me the same remorse and full responsibility for his actions that B1 has shown.

Clues sexual abuse was going on in childhood:

  • Frequent complaints of stomach aches and head aches
  • Low productivity in school: Special low Math and reading groups (K – 8). Evaluation for Special school district in 5th grade
  • Speech therapy focused on lack of “TH” sound usage (the blended consonants represented the abuse and my brothers used this sound for taunting me in front of my parents.)
  • Phenobarbital prescribed at the end of 2nd grade and continued into 3rd grade for emotional turmoil.
  • UTIs
  • Unexplained bruises on my thighs
  • ER visit for vaginal bleeding at age 7 due to lacerations inside my vagina.

My parents found out about the abuse when I was 16. My mother found my journals. I was very depressed at 16. My mother’s response was a drunken rage and making fun of me and my journals. My father joined in when he came home. I really wanted to commit suicide that night but instead I shut up and shut down and became submissive like so many other times in my life.  I was broken.

I can’t remember a time that PTSD, depression, and distorted thinking has not been a part of my life.  I have been in counseling or therapy most of my adult life.  I still struggle with interpersonal relationships, depression, and sorted other emotional problems. I struggle to avoid isolation. I am in charge of my own life and I know I can’t blame current situations on my past.  Taking care of me and my healing process has to remain first if I am to thrive and enjoy my life today.  I am more than my past.

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Pandoras-Aquarium Article on Sibling Sexual Abuse / Incest During Childhood

hel2Pandoras-Aquarium – Sibling Sexual Abuse / Incest During Childhood by Katy

“Sibling child sexual abuse is defined as “sexual behavior between siblings that is not age appropriate, not transitory, and not motivated by developmentally, mutually appropriate curiosity” (Caffaro & Conn-Caffaro, 1998). In the literature it is sometimes referred to simply as “sexually harmful behavior” rather than abuse, but I will refer to it as “abuse . . .”  http://www.pandys.org/articles/siblingsexualabuse.html

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I really like this article.  It is comforting for survivors and well researched for the time it was written.  I have only found one flaw with the article and it could be related to the time the author did research on the topic and proper information was unavailable.  This flaw seems to scream at me and this could be because of how passionate I am about current research on this topic and because I am a survivor of sibling sexual abuse myself and my experiences were quite severe.The following statement from the article is flawed and a myth:

“However, perhaps more frequently than found in adult – child sexual abuse, sibling sexual abuse is frequently non – touching.”

The following is information to dispel this myth: ”sibling sexual abuse is frequently non – touching.”:

  1.  Sibling sexual abusers are thought be worse than other sexual offenders, whose victims may be inside or outside of the family. Sibling sexual offenders commit more sex crimes for more years, and often practice more intrusive sexual behavior, such as vaginal penetration (Firestone, 1999).  http://www.uic.edu/classes/socw/socw517/siblingincestbrunnette.htm
  2. Rudd and Herzberger[22]report that brothers who committed incest were more likely to use force than fathers who commit incest (64% vs. 53%). Similarly, Cyr and colleagues[7] found that about 70% of sibling incest involved sexual penetration, substantially higher than other forms of incest. (22 – 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. 7 – 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.)
  3. Sibling sexual abuse also seems to be the most severe with higher rates of sexual penetration than other intrafamilial sexual abuses (O’Brien, 1991). But it is not limited to intercourse and includes nonpenetration touching (e.g., groping) as well as nontouching behaviors such as leering, forcing a sibling to view pornographic material, and sexual proposals. All have potentially harmful psychological effects on the victim. Although father–daughter sexual abuse has received more attention, there is some evidence that sibling sexual abuse is as harmful with regard to psychological distress (Cyr, Wright, McDuff, & Perron, 2002). ( Caspi PhD, Dr. Jonathan (2011-09-12). Sibling Aggression: Assessment and Treatment (p. 8-9). Springer Publishing. Kindle Edition.)
  4. Sibling sexual abuse (incest) often causes more damage than abuse by a stranger. This is because children are dependent on their families and parents to keep them safe. Studies of convicted teenage sexual abuse offenders show that the sibling offenders commit more serious abuse over a longer period of time than other teenage offenders. This is because the victims (brothers or sisters) are more readily available, they are available for a longer period of time and the abuse is protected by family secrecy. (Public Health Agency of Canada) http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/ncfv-cnivf/sources/nfnts/nfnts-visac-sibabus/index-eng.php
  5. In the handful of studies comparing sibling incest victims with victims of parent-child incest, one set of researchers (Cyr et al., 2002) found a higher percentage (71%) of sibling cases involving intercourse . In another study (Meiselman, 1978), sibling victims engaged more often in oral-genital contact, had more often experienced periods of sexual promiscuity, and more often reported a history of rape.  More-recent investigators (Carlson et al., 2006; Tidefors et al., 2010; Tremblay et al., 1999; Welfare, 2008) suggest that sibling sexual abuse also results in more pregnancies than does father-daughter incest because offenders have greater access to victims and penetrate them more frequently. They suggested that the seriousness of the effects may be due to the duration and intrusiveness of the sexual acts, which are greater than in adult-child sexual abuse. Questions about the scope of the incest are complex, and depend somewhat on developmental factors. Younger offenders may be more likely to respect a victim’s unwillingness to continue the incest; an older victim may be more able to resist a brother’s or sister’s manipulation or sexual aggression. Evidence suggests, however, that older brothers may behave more like parents in maintaining the incest without regard for their sisters’ protests . Overall, the primary conclusions reached are that victims are most often female and are likely to suffer from extensive mental health problems (Winokur et al., 2009). [Caffaro, John V. (2013-08-22). Sibling Abuse Trauma: Assessment and Intervention Strategies for Children, Families, and Adults, Second Edition (Kindle Locations 2154-2165). Taylor and Francis. Kindle Edition.]

Further evidence to support why sibling sexual abuse is actually harmful, originates from a conference outline presented by John Caffaro in 2007.  The following is from than outline:

Reasons why sibling violence is thought to be less harmful:

  • Presumption that child offenders not as strong, and victims therefore, not as damaged by threats
  • The notion that child-on-child violence developmentally is normal and therefore victims feel less stigmatized and violated
  • It leads to belief that children are developmentally more resilient when child perpetrators involved
  • Finally, presumptions of mutual responsibility in terms like scuffle, fights, squabbles often used to describe sibling conflict. 

Critique of Presumptions:

  • Lack of socialization often make child offenders more, not less dangerous
  • Remember, sex crimes are believed to be more injurious the earlier they are experience
  • Children may have much more intense and on-going contact with assailants–siblings—than would most adult victims

 http://www.oudconsultancy.nl/Resources/Proceedings_5th_Violence_in_Clinical_Psychiatry_2007.pdf