Why is Sibling Sexual Abuse Called a Silent Epidemic?
By Brad Watts
This is at the core of why I wanted to write a book on sibling sexual abuse because of the silence at taboo nature that surrounds it. I honestly cannot think of one other topic in our current public discourse that is met with the same level of silence, awkwardness, and outright refusal to talk about as SSA. It’s interesting the time that I’ve been turned down by podcast host that have told me ” I don’t want to go there.” It continues to baffle me why in our society when seemingly every subject and cause is on the table that it is so difficult to get a voice and a platform on this topic.
The reality is that SSA is as much as 5x more common than any other form of childhood sexual abuse. In some ways I find it dumbfounding that with such high numbers of children and families tormented with all the ills that accompany this epidemic that more is not done in regarding advocacy for survivors and their families. We all need to move the conversation forward by talking about SSA demanding coverage from local media, trainings and talks done in church, civic and community groups, and demand our local politicians address this epidemic.
I was recently invited to participate in a local television interview on my book on sibling sexual abuse. I’m beyond thankful for being given the platform to talk about what I feel is the world’s epidemic. However, I was struck by just how uncomfortable the host was in discussing the topic. She wanted to direct the conversation to a more generalized topic of trauma and away from SSA. During the course of the interview she likened the trauma from SSA to someone’s dog dying. Now, I would never make light of the sadness of losing a beloved pet, but come on, there is absolutely no comparison to the trauma and tragedy that accompanies being sexual abused by a sibling. I felt like a politician, completely ignoring her questions why I talked to survivors of SSA and their families on the other side of the camera. I will continue to fight for survivors and their families. If I have to talk to one person or 1,000 people it doesn’t matter. I will continue to fight for this cause with the hope that one day we create a safe place where we can support survivors and their families. I know that healing and change can take place. Let us do all that we can to protect our children and families.
Written by : bradwatts44
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Brad Watts is the author of the book Sibling Sexual Abuse: A Guide for Confronting America’s Silent Epidemic. Brad is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Certified Sex Offender Treatment Provider (CSOTP) who specializes in working with families where sibling sexual abuse has occurred. Brad conducts trainings with communities and groups about how to recognize and respond to incidents of sibling sexual abuse. He lives in Virginia with his wife and son. Visit him online at www.bradwattslpc.com.