Most parents do not venture to entertain the thought that sexual abuse could occur between their children and the truth is that most families do not experience sexual abuse in the family. A survey of eight hundred college students reported by David Finkelhor in Journal of Marriage and Family Counseling concluded that approximately 15% of females and 10% of males reported being sexually abused by a sibling during their childhood.
When the unspeakable happens, parents need to be proactive in assuring that each child involved receives the help needed to recover. Unfortunately, in some cases, sex abuse between siblings gets ignored, covered-up and is left to create lasting emotional scars that can taint young lives permanently.
Caffaro & Conn-Caffaro (1998; 2005) define sibling sexual abuse as sexual behavior between siblings for which the victim is not developmentally prepared, which is not transitory, and which does not reflect age-appropriate curiosity. It may or may not involve physical touching, coercion, or force.
According to Ryan, G. (2005) 40% of all juvenile-perpetrated child sexual abuse is perpetrated in sibling relationships. In another words, nearly half of juvenile sex offenders committed an offense against a young sibling and rather than a victim outside of their home. Youth who sexually offend a younger sibling may be prosecuted in a juvenile court system. Often times, these teens are required to complete a sexual offenses treatment program and in some cases, the court requires that the teen sexual offender be placed outside the family home to assure the safety of the victim.
In many cases, the sexual offense treatment programs are run by the county or state governments. Private treatment options for families are few and far between. STAR Guides was founded for the purpose of providing families with additional options when sexual abuse occurs within the family setting. Listed below are three reasons to consider STAR Guides:
Matt is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been working in the field of youth treatment and psychotherapy since 1995. He did his undergraduate work at BYU and earned his M.S.W. at the University of Utah. He has worked in a variety of treatment setting in his career ranging from wilderness therapy and residential treatment to outpatient treatment and state government.