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What Parents Need to Know About Sibling Abuse: Breaking the Cycle of Violence

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Vernon R. Wiehe

Is what happens in your family just normal sibling rivalry or could it be called sibling abuse? This instructive guide will help you answer this question and help you break any cycle of violence, verbal or physical. The practical suggestions in this … see full wiki

Tags: Books
Author: Vernon R. Wiehe
Publisher: Bonneville Books
1 review about What Parents Need to Know About Sibling...

All families with children need a copy

  • Jul 29, 2003
This book talks about a seldom-discussed issue in present-day America, that of physical and emotional abuse by a member of the family, usually an older brother or sister. There is a strong tendency to keep internal family issues behind closed doors. It's also very easy to dismiss as sibling rivalry, not abuse, or boys will be boys.

Abuse can take many different forms, from name-calling to hitting, all the way to rape. The victims are left with feelings of shame, low self-esteem into adulthood and worthlessness. They are threatened by the perpetrator with grievous bodily harm or the breakup of the family if they tell.

There are a number of causes of sibling abuse. The usual cause is violence in the media that children see every day. Another major reason for sibling abuse is the model presented by the parents. Do they constantly belittle or try to injure each other? In such a household, how can abuse not be transferred from the parents to the children? How can a child, having been abused by an older sibling, not turn around and do it to a younger sibling?

Parental reaction is most important. When confronted with an accusation of abuse, one reaction is to say that the victim must have deserved it. If the accusation is one of sexual abuse, the victim must have enjoyed it. Other parental reactions include ignoring the abuse, responding inconsistently or inappropriately, indifference or even joining in the abuse. No wonder victims frequently don't talk about their abuse for many years.

The best thing parents can do is listen to their children. Only a small percentage of abuse allegations turn out to be false. The author also advocates the SAFE method (Stop the abuse; Assess the situation, both facts and feelings; Find out what will keep the abuse from happening again; Evaluate the solution and alter it if necessary).

Perhaps one of the causes of the epidemic of violence in America is discussed in this book. Read it if you're a parent who thinks that abuse is happening in your home. Read it if you think you're an abuse survivor, then give this book to your parents. Everyone else should also read this book.

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