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Is This Considered Sexual Abuse?

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From the U.S.: My brother and I grew up with a narcissistic mother. I have read online that this causes a lack of nurturance. As a result when I was 6, 7, 8 my brother and I had sexual relations. I don’t remember much, but it started out with my brother making me give him oral sex until eventually I demanded it in return and he would most of the time. On one occasion, my brother and his friend told me we were playing “doctor” in which I gave them both oral sex without anything in return. My brother also tried to get me to penetrate him, but I refused. As far as I remember he didn’t penetrate me, but I do remember him getting fairly close. A good friend of mine at the time told me something recently that I do not remember in which he said he watched my brother proceed to have anal sex with me. I am very confused as to whether this would be considered sexual abuse or not since he would give me oral sex in return sometimes. I’m still very ashamed of this and hurt deeply by it, and it has been giving me much trouble lately so please respond quickly.

Is This Considered Sexual Abuse?

Answered by on -


You didn’t mention how far apart in age you and your brother are. Many kids who are close to the same age explore sex with each other. They keep it up for a time because it feels good. Sometimes kids’ needs for physical affection aren’t filled. If you were getting very little from your parents, being sexual with your brother may have been especially important to the two of you as it was a way to be touched and to touch. If, however, you brother is older and was in a position of power or authority over you, then what you describe would be termed abusive. The report from your friend is disturbing and supports that possibility.

I think you need to sort this out with a therapist. You had legitimate needs as a kid. You have many questions now. Some work with a therapist will give you perspective and a way to put the shame and self-blame behind you. There is no need to carry the hurt and troubling feelings into your future.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Is This Considered Sexual Abuse?

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Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

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APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Is This Considered Sexual Abuse?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 23, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 28 Aug 2014)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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