Sibling Sexual Abuse Project
Sibling Sexual Abuse Project

The National Resource Centre for Adult Survivors of Sibling Sexual Abuse

The National Resource Centre for Adult Survivors of Sibling Sexual Abuse

Introduction

Sibling sexual abuse is considered to be the most common form of child sexual abuse within the family setting in the UK. Children are more likely to be sexually abused by their siblings – brothers and sisters and stepbrothers and step-sisters – than by their parents. Yet, society’s awareness of sibling sexual abuse has trailed behind other child abuse issues and concerns. Support services and researchers agree it has received little or no attention and there is a lack of academic literature on the subject.

Today, it remains a hidden, chronically under-estimated and untreated form of child sexual abuse. It continues to be ignored, played down, or denied by parents, professionals, and authorities as harmless or non-threatening childhood sexual experimentation that does not require attention. This is despite the known life-time effects of sexual violence and abuse on the health and happiness of survivors.

The National Resource Centre

From April 2022, SARSAS (Somerset and Avon Rape and Sexual Abuse Support) is developing the National Resource Centre for Adult Survivors of Sibling Sexual Abuse (the Resource Centre). We want to increase the provision of nationally available specialist support and information for both female and male adult survivors of sibling sexual abuse and professionals working with adult survivors. We hope the information will also be useful for members of affected families as well.

The Resource Centre has come out of the learning from the National Project on Sibling Sexual Abuse. This two-year project, that ended in March 2022, was the largest Government-funded project on sibling sexual abuse to date. Funded by the Home Office and Ministry of Justice ‘Support for Victims and Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse (SVSCSA) Fund 2020 – 2022’, it was also the first England and Wales wide project on sibling sexual abuse. Rape Crisis England & Wales (RCEW) in partnership with two universities and two rape crisis centres – one of which was SARSAS – oversaw the project.

We are just starting on the development of the Resource Centre and hope to work in partnership with adult survivors and professionals to improve the quality and consistency of information and support across the UK. We believe individuals harmed by sibling sexual abuse can recover, heal and rebuild their lives.

The National Sibling Sexual Abuse Conference for Frontline Sectors

The National Sibling Sexual Abuse Conference for Frontline Sectors was held in February 2022, and was the first national conference on sibling sexual abuse in the U.K.  You will see on this page a link to the web-based post-conference information pack. Whilst we build the Resource Centre, we consider the pack to be a good place to find information for adult survivors and increase professional confidence around and knowledge of sibling sexual abuse

It contains links to six sessions from the conference and three short training and information films that are now available on YouTube; and it contains information and links on working with children harmed by sibling sexual abuse; working with children that have harmed their siblings; working with affected families: and working with adult survivors of sibling sexual abuse. There is a section on information on further training.

Contact details for the Resource Centre

If you are interested in the Resource Centre, please email: fleurstrong@sarsas.org.uk