Sibling abuse is the physical, emotional, or sexual abuse of one sibling by another. The physical abuse can range from more mild forms of aggression between siblings, such as pushing and shoving, to very violent behavior such as using weapons.
Often parents don’t see the abuse for what it is. As a rule, parents and society expect fights and aggression among siblings. Because of this, parents often don’t see sibling abuse as a problem until serious harm occurs.
Besides the direct dangers of sibling abuse, the abuse can cause all kinds of long-term problems into adulthood.
As various forms of interpersonal family violence receive more attention in the literature, sibling abuse is still in the background. Despite the increasing knowledge about the prevalence, causes, and effects of sibling abuse, many of us continue to relegate it to a childhood occurrence. Sibling abuse symptoms continue to go unrecognized and its demoralizing effects continue to be ignored. Minimization and denial of sibling abuse have also contributed to constraining the extent of knowledge related to this phenomenon. The present book seeks to add to the existing research confirming the existence of sibling victimization and its long-term impacts.
This book has two primary purposes: 1) to capture the beliefs, feelings, and firsthand account of the abusive sibling experiences from the perspective of victims, and 2) to investigate the potential learned responses associated with sibling abuse and their possible impact on adult relationships by exploring participants’ emotional and relational histories, and belief systems.
Data suggests the long-term impacts of learned responses associated with sibling abuse can be detrimental to both interpersonal relationships and mental health. Emergent themes related to family functioning and environment and resiliency after abuse are also presented.