From: pautrey on
Brothers And Sisters Of Abuse Victims Often Help Cover Up Or Even
Commit Abuse, Study Suggests



ScienceDaily (Mar. 6, 2008) — In many cases, when abusive parents with
multiple children target just one child for emotional or physical
cruelty, authorities often remove the abused child from the home and
return the non-abused siblings.


But brothers and sisters of abused children can suffer lifelong
emotional scars from helping parents conceal the abuse or, in extreme
cases, from being forced to participate in torturing their siblings,
according to a study published in the current issue of the Journal of
Emotional Abuse.

While psychologists have repeatedly studied the lifelong emotional
carnage of untreated abuse victims, scant attention has been paid to
their siblings, according to author Jane Hollingsworth, a licensed
clinical psychologist and executive director of the Child Abuse
Program at Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters.

"Many children survive by becoming callous to the suffering or even
torture of their brothers and sisters," Hollingsworth. "Those children
require therapy, but don't get it."

The article, co-authored by Hollingsworth and Joanne Glass, a child
abuse social worker, distills what these clinicians have learned
handling hundreds of cases at the hospital's Child Abuse Program.


Read More:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080305163224.htm
From: pautrey on
Brothers And Sisters Of Abuse Victims Often Help Cover Up Or Even
Commit Abuse, Study Suggests


ScienceDaily (Mar. 6, 2008) — In many cases, when abusive parents with
multiple children target just one child for emotional or physical
cruelty, authorities often remove the abused child from the home and
return the non-abused siblings.

But brothers and sisters of abused children can suffer lifelong
emotional scars from helping parents conceal the abuse or, in extreme
cases, from being forced to participate in torturing their siblings,
according to a study published in the current issue of the Journal of
Emotional Abuse.

While psychologists have repeatedly studied the lifelong emotional
carnage of untreated abuse victims, scant attention has been paid to
their siblings, according to author Jane Hollingsworth, a licensed
clinical psychologist and executive director of the Child Abuse
Program at Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters.

"Many children survive by becoming callous to the suffering or even
torture of their brothers and sisters," Hollingsworth. "Those children
require therapy, but don't get it."

The article, co-authored by Hollingsworth and Joanne Glass, a child
abuse social worker, distills what these clinicians have learned
handling hundreds of cases at the hospital's Child Abuse Program.

The King's Daughters program gathers forensic evidence for police and
prosecutors in jurisdictions throughout Virginia and also provides
counseling to victims. in dozens of cases throughout their careers,
Hollingsworth and Glass have seen parents who focused all their
abusive rage on one child, a "scapegoat," as they term it.

In chilling anecdotes extrapolated from cases, the study chronicles
how parents can force siblings to become either emotionally numb or
hostile toward the abuse victim. "The coldness of the calculated
torment of children detailed in these case histories is so disturbing
that it is easy to overlook the effects on siblings," the study
observes.

In one case, Francine (not her real name), a first-grader, was locked
in a nine-square-foot closet for eight weeks. She was fed only dry
cereal, water and bread.

"She could not lie down except in a very cramped position," the study
relates. The abuse of Francine "escalated into beatings with a wire
antenna... The children were encouraged to harm their sister."

When the therapist spoke to members of the family "all the children
agreed that John, the brother who had once taken pity on Francine and
released her briefly, was the mother's chief assistant in tormenting
his sister."

In the vast majority of cases, brothers and sisters of the abused
child are returned to the home without treatment. In cases such as
this, Francine would be treated, and John would be ignored.

Children such as John "have been taught to be callous, even cruel, to
their sibling," said Glass. "Deliberately depriving children of the
chance to love a brother or a sister is emotionally abusive. The
message to these siblings is that it isn't safe to identify with their
brother or sister."

Untreated, John may suffer an "empathy deficit," the inability to feel
empathy for the targeted child and possibly others, a hallmark
characteristic of both abuse victims and perpetrators.

While researchers have documented the chaotic lives of untreated abuse
victims, the authors could find little research documenting how child
abuse affected the lives of brothers and sisters of scapegoated
children.

The study offers a guide to identifying cases in which siblings of
scapegoated children are at risk and urges therapists to identify and
treat these collateral victims.

They also urge researchers to investigate whether the psychic damage
to siblings plays out in the dysfunctional lives common to untreated
abuse victims.

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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Story Source:

The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by
ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by Children's Hospital of
The King's Daughters, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Need to cite this story in your essay, paper, or report? Use one of
the following formats:
APA

MLA Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters (2008, March 6).
Brothers And Sisters Of Abuse Victims Often Help Cover Up Or Even
Commit Abuse, Study Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 16, 2010,
from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2008/03/080305163224.htm
Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.


Read More:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080305163224.htm
From: pautrey on

Brothers And Sisters Of Abuse Victims Often Help Cover Up Or Even
Commit Abuse, Study Suggests
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080305163224.htm



ScienceDaily (Mar. 6, 2008) — In many cases, when abusive parents with
multiple children target just one child for emotional or physical
cruelty, authorities often remove the abused child from the home and
return the non-abused siblings.

But brothers and sisters of abused children can suffer lifelong
emotional scars from helping parents conceal the abuse or, in extreme
cases, from being forced to participate in torturing their siblings,
according to a study published in the current issue of the Journal of
Emotional Abuse.

While psychologists have repeatedly studied the lifelong emotional
carnage of untreated abuse victims, scant attention has been paid to
their siblings, according to author Jane Hollingsworth, a licensed
clinical psychologist and executive director of the Child Abuse
Program at Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters.

"Many children survive by becoming callous to the suffering or even
torture of their brothers and sisters," Hollingsworth. "Those children
require therapy, but don't get it."

The article, co-authored by Hollingsworth and Joanne Glass, a child
abuse social worker, distills what these clinicians have learned
handling hundreds of cases at the hospital's Child Abuse Program.

The King's Daughters program gathers forensic evidence for police and
prosecutors in jurisdictions throughout Virginia and also provides
counseling to victims. in dozens of cases throughout their careers,
Hollingsworth and Glass have seen parents who focused all their
abusive rage on one child, a "scapegoat," as they term it.

In chilling anecdotes extrapolated from cases, the study chronicles
how parents can force siblings to become either emotionally numb or
hostile toward the abuse victim. "The coldness of the calculated
torment of children detailed in these case histories is so disturbing
that it is easy to overlook the effects on siblings," the study
observes.

In one case, Francine (not her real name), a first-grader, was locked
in a nine-square-foot closet for eight weeks. She was fed only dry
cereal, water and bread.

"She could not lie down except in a very cramped position," the study
relates. The abuse of Francine "escalated into beatings with a wire
antenna... The children were encouraged to harm their sister."

When the therapist spoke to members of the family "all the children
agreed that John, the brother who had once taken pity on Francine and
released her briefly, was the mother's chief assistant in tormenting
his sister."

In the vast majority of cases, brothers and sisters of the abused
child are returned to the home without treatment. In cases such as
this, Francine would be treated, and John would be ignored.

Children such as John "have been taught to be callous, even cruel, to
their sibling," said Glass. "Deliberately depriving children of the
chance to love a brother or a sister is emotionally abusive. The
message to these siblings is that it isn't safe to identify with their
brother or sister."

Untreated, John may suffer an "empathy deficit," the inability to feel
empathy for the targeted child and possibly others, a hallmark
characteristic of both abuse victims and perpetrators.

While researchers have documented the chaotic lives of untreated abuse
victims, the authors could find little research documenting how child
abuse affected the lives of brothers and sisters of scapegoated
children.

The study offers a guide to identifying cases in which siblings of
scapegoated children are at risk and urges therapists to identify and
treat these collateral victims.

They also urge researchers to investigate whether the psychic damage
to siblings plays out in the dysfunctional lives common to untreated
abuse victims.

Email or share this story:
| More
Story Source:

The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by
ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by Children's Hospital of
The King's Daughters, via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS.
Need to cite this story in your essay, paper, or report? Use one of
the following formats:
APA

MLA
Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters (2008, March 6). Brothers
And Sisters Of Abuse Victims Often Help Cover Up Or Even Commit Abuse,
Study Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 2, 2010, from
http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2008/03/080305163224.htm


Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.
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