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Sibling Sexual Abuse

  • 08-03-2021 8:02pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭


    My partner recently confided to me about them being molested by their older sibling when they were children, partner would have been 9YO and the older sibling a young teenager. My partner is struggling hard with this and is receiving counselling.

    I'm hoping for some advice on how we should address this going forward. Under advice of their counselor they've confided in their mother but beyond that I don't feel there is much that can be done as it was abuse involving two minors but I would love some input as to things I can do to help my partner move past it now that it's out in the open.


Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,292 ✭✭✭TheBoyConor


    Are they going to go to the Gardai?

    He might have been a minor, but at the end of the day he has shown form for child abuse. It doesn't just go away. There is no way of knowing that he is not presently a threat to children.
    I think he should be challenged, and investigated and his history examined. Is he a member of any organisations where he might have access to children or vulnerable adults?
    There is now a huge question mark over this guys head. I'd be discreetly tipping off people whom he may be in contact with regarding his being, potentially a danger to other children in the community.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    Are they going to go to the Gardai?

    He might have been a minor, but at the end of the day he has shown form for child abuse. It doesn't just go away. There is no way of knowing that he is not presently a threat to children.
    I think he should be challenged, and investigated and his history examined. Is he a member of any organisations where he might have access to children or vulnerable adults?
    There is now a huge question mark over this guys head. I'd be discreetly tipping off people whom he may be in contact with regarding his being, potentially a danger to other children in the community.

    agree but he could very easily sue you for that.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,797 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hannibal_Smith


    I really think the best thing would be for him/her to discuss the next steps with the counsellor which will help make sure whatever next step they take - they're ready for.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,018 ✭✭✭Rubberchikken


    Hardly fair to start naming and shaming someone without the ops partner deciding what path they wish to take.

    This person is finally in a place to discuss this experience and needs support first.

    What they choose to do is something they'll decide on when they're ready.

    Op it's good that they've opened up to you and their mother.
    I hope the counselling will be helpful dealing with such a traumatic issue.


  • Administrators Posts: 13,418 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Big Bag of Chips


    I'd be discreetly tipping off people whom he may be in contact with regarding his being, potentially a danger to other children in the community.

    OP, I'm sure this is something you wouldn't even consider. This would be absolutely the worst possible thing to do. For a start the only person who should make any decision about who knows and when is your partner. It is nobody else's story to tell.

    All you can really do is be there. Don't offer solutions or suggestions. Don't try to fix this. Don't question or try to get more information. Your partner will speak to you if they want to. They are getting professional help in dealing with it. Let the professional deal with that side of it. You just need to be there. Be there, not making it more difficult for your partner. Be their emotional support and follow their lead.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 916 ✭✭✭1hnr79jr65


    I'd be discreetly tipping off people whom he may be in contact with regarding his being, potentially a danger to other children in the community.


    I would NOT be following this advice OP, this is highly dangerous not just for yourself but also your partner. You would be making an accusation without proof which could have serious ramifications for you. I am not saying what your partners has experience is not true, you would however be putting your partner on the spot to make a statement or admission of their experience when they may not be ready and if they are not ready then its your word against the "potential" guilty party.

    Also part of the healing process for situations like these is not being pushed to confront the abuser or make statements to the guards until ready, i know as i have been through this. It is already painful enough dealing with the emotions, guilt and feelings of shame and worthlessness for something that is not your fault.

    The very best thing you can do for your partner is be there to listen and support them, but do not push them or take any action that may appear to force their hand as it may be mentally and emotionally damaging for them to deal with something they not ready for yet.


  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser


    I'd be discreetly tipping off people whom he may be in contact with regarding his being, potentially a danger to other children in the community.

    Thanks everyone for the input so far, suffice to say I will not be following the above advice. I'm not in the habit of giving abusers ammo to work with.

    I will be there for my partner without a doubt. I share their pain as I was molested myself as a young teenager but my abuser died some years ago and I have found peace with it.

    I'm slightly anxious there is a **** storm incoming for us from my partners sibling if the mother discloses to them that she now knows. The sibling is not a pleasant person at the best of occasions from my limited encounters with them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,018 ✭✭✭Rubberchikken


    Has your partner asked if the parent could keep this to themselves?
    I can see how it could implode especially as the sibling is around and an unpleasant person as you say.

    It's wonderful that they have such a supportive partner in you.


  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser


    Has your partner asked if the parent could keep this to themselves?
    I can see how it could implode especially as the sibling is around and an unpleasant person as you say.

    It's wonderful that they have such a supportive partner in you.

    I would be surprised if she would choose disclose without permission but it is naturally a difficult and upsetting position for the mother too. I'll make sure to talk in over with my partner and we'll try arrange a consensus with the mother.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,292 ✭✭✭TheBoyConor


    Sorry I was meaning that the abused partner would challenge, inform the Gardai and discretely tip off any organisations that the sibling is involved in. (When they are ready and at a time if their choosing, of course)

    If the sibling is a generally unpleasant person, then it is quite possible that they are a serial abuser.

    I actually think it is important that it be investigated whether the sibling is involved in any organisations or activities where he may potentially have access to children or vulnerable persons.

    if he has abused once before, which ops partner knows he has for certain, then it is legit to form a reasonable suspicion that he may have abused again, subsequently or serially.

    And knowing this information, I feel there is a moral duty on ops partner to take the necessary steps to ensure that the relevant authorities know what his past history is, and know that he may potentially be a danger to children in the present. And any access he may have have to children or vulnerable people should be investigated and suspended immediately now that there is a doubt and question mark over his fitness.


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  • Administrators Posts: 13,418 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Big Bag of Chips


    TheBoyConor, the 'victim' in this case gets to decide who, when and how they tell people this. They are working through it with a professional. Your 'if it was me' type advice is totally inappropriate in this circumstance. Not simply because you don't know how you'd react 'if it were you' and also because the OP has asked advice on how to proceed with their partner, not what they should tell their partner they should do.

    Please do not post in this thread again.


  • Registered Users Posts: 80 ✭✭trick


    My partner recently confided to me about them being molested by their older sibling when they were children, partner would have been 9YO and the older sibling a young teenager. My partner is struggling hard with this and is receiving counselling.

    I'm hoping for some advice on how we should address this going forward. Under advice of their counselor they've confided in their mother but beyond that I don't feel there is much that can be done as it was abuse involving two minors but I would love some input as to things I can do to help my partner move past it now that it's out in the open.


    I feel like you should let your partner guide things. Don’t put any pressure to talk about the situation. Remind them that you are there if they ever want to speak about it, but, that you won’t press them to speak about anything because you want them to feel safe to speak about things.
    Speaking about abuse can retraumatise the victim & can be extremely distressing & often detrimental for mental health. So even through they have brought up the subject and disclosed the abuse to you they may want to lock that away again & just speak with their therapist about it.

    Just with regards to the poor advice above re getting the OPs partner to report the abuse, it is never the responsibility of the victim to do anything with regards to reporting abuse for fear their abuser will reoffend.
    The only responsibility the victim has is making sure that they are ok & working with a therapist is a great first step.
    I hope that anyone reading that advice and has suffered any type of abuse knows that is not their responsibility to feel obliged to report anything to authorities. You are not responsible for your perpetrators actions past, present or future.


  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser


    I think you may be right. I feel like I want to be proactive for my partner but in this scenario there is little I can do on their behalf about the core issue. I would be open to suggestions for perhaps security precautions I should take in the event we may be faced with a disgruntled abuser arriving at our door.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,797 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hannibal_Smith


    I think you may be right. I feel like I want to be proactive for my partner but in this scenario there is little I can do on their behalf about the core issue. I would be open to suggestions for perhaps security precautions I should take in the event we may be faced with a disgruntled abuser arriving at our door.

    One of the main issues is that if you be proactive, and although its coming from a good place, your partner may feel that its taking control away from them. Control that they may feel has already been compromised by the sibling when it was all going on. Also taking steps, any steps, may seem like moving things forward and being proactive, but if your partner isn't ready for it it may not be the right thing to do.

    Listen to then when they talk, thats a simple, but such a fantastic way to help and let them decide with the counsellor's advice and your support what happens next.


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