Sibling Abuse: Hidden Physical, Emotional, and Sexual Trauma


Vernon R. Wiehe

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  • Chapters
  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
  • Subject Index
  • Books under the General Editorship of Jon R. Conte

    Hate Crimes: Confronting Violence Against Lesbians and Gay Men edited by Gregory M. Herek and Kevin T. Berrill

    Legal Responses to Wife Assault: Current Trends and Evaluation edited by N. Zoe Hilton

    The Male Survivor: The Impact of Sexual Abuse by Matthew Parynik Mendel

    The Child Sexual Abuse Custody Dispute Annotated Bibliography by Wendy Deaton, Suzanne Long, Holly A. Magana, and Julie Robbins

    The Survivor's Guide by Sharice Lee

    Psychotherapy and Mandated Reporting of Child Maltreatment by Murray Levine and Howard J. Doueck

    Sexual Abuse in Nine North American Cultures: Treatment and Prevention by Lisa Aronson Fontes

    The Role of Social Support in Preventing Child Maltreatment by Ross A. Thompson

    Intimate Betrayal: Understanding and Responding to the Trauma of Acquaintance Rape by Vernon R. Wiehe and Ann L. Richards

    Violence Against Women Research: Methodological and Personal Perspectives by Martin D. Schwartz

    Sibling Abuse: Hidden Physical, Emotional, and Sexual Trauma by Vernon R. Wiehe


    View Copyright Page


    To my wife, Donna, whom I admire, respect, and deeply love, and who has struggled so bravely from a debilitating stroke.

  • A Final Word

    Perhaps you became interested in this book because of the title. You may have seen yourself in the title. You may have been abused as a child—not by a parent or other adults, but by a sibling. As you read how the survivors were physically, emotionally, or sexually abused by a sibling, you may have said to yourself, “That's me! That was what life was like for me as a child.”

    If so, you are not predestined for a life of emotional pain and suffering. You may be at peace with the abuse and your sibling who perpetrated the abuse. Regardless of how this was resolved for you, it is good it was.

    Unfortunately, for others this may not be true. You may be experiencing the effects of the abuse referred to by the survivors—low self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness, depression, substance abuse, difficulties in interpersonal relationships. If this is happening in your life and you see yourself in the survivors' comments in these pages, you are encouraged to seek help. Reread the pages in Chapter 9 on seeking professional help. Why prolong your suffering? Help is available, if only you reach out for it!

    For still others, abuse may not have been a part of your life. But you may be asking, “How can we stop this senseless abuse—child abuse, spouse abuse, elder abuse, and now sibling abuse?” Only through your personal involvement in preventing the problem can the abuse of one individual by another be stopped. There are numerous ways to become involved—as volunteers with local agencies working in domestic violence, at spouse abuse shelters, at day-care centers for children from abusive homes, in support groups for those who have been abused, and in countless other ways. Contact a social agency in your community that works in the field of domestic violence. This could mark the beginning of your involvement in helping bring family violence to an end in our society.


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    About the Author

    Vernon R. Wiehe is Professor in the College of Social Work at the University of Kentucky at Lexington. After he received a master's degree from the University of Chicago, he did postgraduate work in the Program of Advanced Studies in Social Work at Smith College. He received his doctorate from Washington University in St. Louis. He is the author of numerous articles in professional journals as well as the following books: Perilous Rivalry: When Siblings Become Abusive; Working with Child Abuse and Neglect; Intimate Betrayal: Understanding and Responding to the Trauma of Acquaintance Rape; and The Brother/Sister Hurt: Recognizing the Effects of Sibling Abuse. Dr. Wiehe has appeared on numerous television and radio talk shows discussing family violence, including Phil Donahue and Sonya Live. He is a frequently cited author on the subject of family violence.

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