In SummaryWhat I don’t understand is why he keeps doing this and why don’t our parents act each time we report his uncivilised behaviour.
Hi, I am 13 years old; I have a brother who is 15, though we are a close family, my brother is very uncouth and sometimes very violent towards me.
What I don’t understand is why he keeps doing this and why don’t our parents act each time we report his uncivilised behaviour.
Even though there can be lifelong devastating psychological effects, sibling abuse may be the most ignored form of domestic abuse. There is a lot that is swept under the rug in the guise of “sibling rivalry”.
Most countries’ laws don’t consider this a prosecutable offence unless a child is turned in by their parents.
So parents keep this type of abuse within the family and a lot of the time it is the victim who is blamed for the abuse.
But how do we define or recognise abuse among siblings? When there is an inequity in power between two adolescents and one uses control over the other to repeatedly hurt, threaten, or degrade, that is abusive behaviour. Even name calling, and ridicule can erode a child’s self worth and esteem.
“Children are especially vulnerable to degrading remarks because it is during their childhood years that they are developing a positive sense of self.” Unfortunately, most parents see this behaviour as sibling rivalry.
And while most emotional and even physical abuse, should and can be handled by parents rather than the law, first parents have to recognise that it is abuse.
Sexual abuse is another story. Most incidents of sexual abuse by siblings go not only unreported but also undetected by parents.
Most times, the siblings themselves recognise that what is happening is wrong and certainly it is recognised by society as wrong.
And unlike physical or emotional abuse, it happens secretly because the older sibling knows that they have crossed a line.
But the question remains why should this be happening among children brought up together?