STOP the Abuse of Siblings

More than 5 children die every day because of child abuse!

Siblings with Behavioral Disorder:

Sibling abuse is very common all around the world but children who suffer from behavioral disorders such as, ODD or conduct disorder are 10 times more likely to abuse their younger siblings harshly (Kayla, 2012). The abuse can be in form of physical, emotional or sexual depending on the intensity of the behavioral disorder in the children (Kayla, 2012). According to psychologists, physical abuse is the most common form of abuse on younger siblings which includes pushing, shoving and to very violent extend such as using weapons (Kayla, 2012).

Unfortunately, parents never see the abuse between siblings who have any type of behavioral disorder as a problem because society expect fights and aggression among siblings (Kayla, 2012). Therefore, parents often don't monitor the activities of children who have behavioral disorder until serious harm occurs to their younger child (Maury, 2010).

Symptoms of Sibling Abuse in Children:

1: A child may always avoid their sibling (Kayla, 2012).

2: Sudden change in child's behavior, eating habits and sleep patterns (Kayla, 2012).

3: Child acting as abusive or sexually towards other people (Kayla, 2012).

4: Rigidness and violence between children escalating (Kayla, 2012).

5: One child is always aggressive towards the sibling while, the other child remains the victim in every abusive event (Kayla, 2012).

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Risk Factors for Sibling Abuse:

Here are factors that could encourage the children who has behavioral disorder to abuse their siblings:

1:Parents not being around much at home to look after the kids (Kayla, 2012).

2: Parents aren't present in child's life or emotionally far apart (Kayla, 2012).

3: Parents accepting child fights as a part of their family and not working to minimize the abuse on children (Maury 2010).

4:Parents failed to teach children stress coping strategies to manage their anger (Kayla, 2012).

5:Parents increasing the competition between child such as whoever gets the higher mark in math will get a toy (Kayla, 2012).

6:Arguments among children and parent (Kayla, 2012).

7:Children with inappropriate role or chores in the family (Maury 2010).

8: Children exposed to domestic violence, media or bullying in the past (Maury 2010).

9: Parents have not taught children the importance of safety (Kayla, 2012).

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Preventing the Abuse between Siblings:

Here are some ways that could be used by parents to initially stop the abuse between a child who struggles with any type of behavioral disorder:

1:Try to reduce rivalries between the siblings as soon as the tension escalates(Kayla, 2012).

2:Developing ground rules and consequences to discourage physical abuse (Kayla, 2012).

3:Never give your older children too much responsibility to take care of young ones (Kayla, 2012).

4: Take out time to talk to your children one-on one especially, after coming home from work at night (Kayla, 2012).

5: Model effective and soothing conflicts solving skills to your children (Maury 2010).

6:Create a very healthy family atmosphere where kids feel ease to talk about sexual behaviors and problems in their life (Maury 2010).

7: Observing their gaming habits, entertainment options and internet surfing (Kayla, 2010).

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Effects of Long-term Sibling Abuse:

Research shows that long-term abuse can lead to the following:

1: Depression, anxiety and low self esteem (Kayla, 2012).

2: Inability to trust and unstable relationships in adulthood (Kayla, 2012).

3: Alcohol and drug addiction (Kayla, 2012).

4: Learned helplessness as a solution to every problem (Kayla, 2012).

5: Eating Disorders (Kayla, 2012).

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How to Stop the Abuse:

When a child hits, bites or physically torture the other child it is very important not to let this dangerous behavior continue. Here are list of steps to prevent the abuse from happening again:

1: Separate the children whenever the violence occurs (Catherine, 2012).

2: After the children have cooled off, bring each one of them to a family meeting to discuss the problems (Kayla, 2012).

3: Gather information about how children feel about one another (Kayla, 2012).

4: Make the child work together in order to set a positive goals in the house (Kayla, 2012).

5: Brainstorm the possible ways to solve problems for children Maury, 2010).

6:Develop a contract which states the rights and responsibility of each child (Kayla, 2012).

7: Help the children to control their anger (Maury 2010).

National Abuse Hotline:

Please call at: 1-800-422-4453 in the hours of any type of abuse.

This number provides crisis counselling for child abuse and referrals to Mental Health professionals staff hotline which is open 24/7 to help children (Kayla, 2012).

Raising Awareness about Sibling Abuse:

This online flyer is created and edited by Danish Mahmood.


Kayla. "University of Michigan Health System." Sibling Abuse: Your Child:. N.p., Nov. 2012. Web. 12 June 2013. <>.

Maury K. "Dr. - Advice - Sibling Abuse." Dr. - Advice - Sibling Abuse. N.p., 09 Sept. 2010. Web. 12 June 2013. <>.

Catherine K. "Spirituality." Power to Change Sibling Violence My Struggle to Stop Hating My Abusive Brother Comments. N.p., 12 Jan. 2012. Web. 12 June 2013. <>.

Matheson. "Stop Family Violence." Stop Family Violence. N.p., 12 Feb. 2008. Web. 12 June 2013. <>