The sexual assault of one child typically affects the whole family, including siblings. Everything you do to help your children at this time is important. Even your smallest actions can create big opportunities for healing in your children.

Below are some common reactions you can expect from the siblings of a sexually abused child.


Common reactions from siblings:

  • Resentment of the abused child

  • Emotional distress

  • Overprotection

  • Stigmatization

  • Blame

An abused child can acquire a stigmatized role among siblings or be blamed for the distress the family is experiencing. Redirect negative sibling reactions to the abuse to the only person responsible for the abuse – the abuser. Remind them that their sibling did not want to be abused and needs to be treated with acceptance in order to find the way back to normal.

Your children may be experiencing changes and challenges at this time. You can try to minimize the amount of change they have to face at one time and constantly reassure them by providing them with unconditional love, understanding and support. You can also download a guide to assist you in having positive discussions with your children.