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The Hidden Nature of Sibling Sexual Abuse: When Sexually Harmful Behaviour Masquerades as Consensual Sexual Experimentation

A one-day training workshop

Speaker: Christiane Sanderson
Date: 1 May 2020, Friday
Location: Online streaming only (plus you get complimentary access to the video recording)
Times: 10:00am to 4:00pm
CPD hours: 5

Ticket price per delegate for online streaming of the event: £135

Video recording per course pack: £134.99

Video course packs, including all notes are sent by an email link. Online video access remains available for 60 days from the date you receive the video course.

Buy more than one ticket to receive our ‘bring a friend’ 5% discount on your entire order.

It is estimated that one third of sexual abuse is perpetrated by children, with some as young as four engaging in sexually harmful behaviour. Overt peer to peer abuse is commonly seen in sexual harassment and sexual bullying, peer to peer sexual exploitation, and the use of sexual violence and rapes in gangs. There is however a more nuanced, often unspoken type of sexually harmful behaviour which is usually under-reported as it masquerades as consensual sexual experimentation between children, especially siblings, step siblings and cousins.

NScience | Mental Health Seminars

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Full Course Information

To fully differentiate between consensual sexual experimentation and sexually harmful behaviour it is critical to understand both typical and atypical sexual development in children and young people. This workshop will examine the nature and dynamics of sibling sexual abuse by children and young people, its impact and long-term effects. We will distinguish between typical age appropriate consensual sexual curiosity and sexual experimentation and atypical sexual behaviour which is non-consensual and sexually harmful. The aim is to enable practitioners to identify sexually abusive behaviour between siblings and help clients differentiate this from consensual sexual play.

The workshop will explore the role of grooming and examine how such abuse is normalised by being presented as consensual sexual exploration and experimentation. Strategies such as enticement through playing games that lead to sexually harmful behaviour and encouraging sexual activities with other children will be unpacked to provide a deeper understanding of how non-consensual sexual experimentation can make it harder for children, parents or adults in the child’s psycho-social world to legitimise this as sexual abuse and respond appropriately. To do this, the day will examine how parents and primary caregivers can talk to their children in an age appropriate way about sex and sexuality to help protect them from sexually harmful behaviour. In enabling survivors to identify their experience as sexually abusive they can begin to legitimise their abuse and understand how it has impacted them and begin the journey of recovery and healing. 

The workshop will specifically look at:

  • The range of sibling and peer on peer sexual abuse
  • The nature of sexually harmful behaviour in children
  • The nature of typical age appropriate consensual sexual exploration between siblings
  • The nature of atypical non-consensual sexual behaviour between siblings
  • The role of grooming and ‘normalisation’ of sexually harmful behaviour
  • How to talk to children about sex and sexuality to help protect them from sexually harmful behaviour
  • The long-term effects of sibling sexual abuse
  • The difficulties faced by parents and primary caregivers when sibling abuse is disclosed
  • How legitimising the abuse can facilitate recovery and healing

About the speaker

Christiane Sanderson BSc, MSc. is a senior lecturer in Psychology at the University of Roehampton, of London with 26 years of experience working with survivors of childhood sexual abuse and sexual violence. She has delivered consultancy, continuous professional development and professional training for parents, teachers, social workers, nurses, therapists, counsellors, solicitors, the NSPCC, the Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Committee, the Methodist Church, the Metropolitan Police Service, SOLACE, the Refugee Council, Birmingham City Council Youth Offending Team, and HMP Bronzefield.

She is the author of Counselling Skills for Working with Shame, Counselling Skills for Working with Trauma: Healing from Child Sexual Abuse, Sexual Violence and Domestic Abuse, Counselling Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, 3rd edition, Counselling Survivors of Domestic Abuse, The Seduction of Children: Empowering Parents and Teachers to Protect Children from Child Sexual Abuse, and Introduction to Counselling Survivors of Interpersonal Trauma, allpublished by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. She has also written The Warrior Within: A One in Four Handbook to Aid Recovery from Sexual Violence; TheSpirit Within: A One in Four Handbook to Aid Recovery from Religious Sexual Abuse Across All Faithsand Responding to Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse: A pocket guide for professionals, partners, families and friends for the charity One in Fourfor whom she is a trustee.

NScience | Mental Health Seminars
NScience | Mental Health Seminars
NScience | Mental Health Seminars

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