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Online Training Lesson #7: Fast Facts on Sibling Violence

Useful Fast Facts

Fast Facts on Sibling Violence

  • Sibling violence may be one of the most frequently occurring forms of family violence in the United States (www.harrelcenter.hsc.usf.edu/sv.html);
  • Sibling violence occurs in approximately 63% to 73% of American homes (www.harrelcenter.hsc.usf.edu/sv.html);
  • The most common forms of sibling violence include:  biting, slapping, pushing, pinching, hitting, hair pulling, and scratching (www.harrelcenter.hsc.usf.edu/sv.html);
  • At least once a year:
    • 42% of all children kicked, bit, or punched a sibling;
    • 40% hit with an object;
    • 16% beat up another;
    • 0.8% threatened with a knife or gun;
    • 0.3% used a knife or gun (www.safe4all.org).
  • At least once a year, 109,000 children in the United States have a gun or knife used against them by a brother or sister (www.safe4all.org);
  • Research has found that sibling violence is a predictor of dating violence.  Dating violence is more common among partners who had punched, shoved or otherwise abused their siblings than those who had not (www.eurekalert.org);
  • Amongst 538 students at a community college in Florida, 9 percent reported having a sibling use a knife or gun against them, while nearly 6 percent reported having used a knife or gun against a sibling; (www.eurekalert.org);
  • The journal Child Maltreatment reports that 35 percent of the 2030 children in one study had been “hit or attacked” by a sibling in the previous year.  14 percent of the children were repeatedly attacked by a sibling; 4.55% were hit hard enough to sustain injuries and 2 percent were hit by brothers or sisters wielding rocks, toys, broom handles, shovels and even knifes (www.theledger.com);
  • Children ages 2 to 9 who were repeatedly attacked were twice as likely as others their age to show severe symptoms of trauma, anxiety and depression, like sleeplessness, crying spells, thoughts of suicide and fears of the dark (www.theledger.com);
  • Often the roots of sexual dysfunction, eating disorders, alcoholism, and drug problems lie in sibling abuse (Iowa State University Extension Services, Understanding Abuse:  Sibling abuse);
  • In 80% of siblings ages 3-17, there was one or more violent episode occurring in the preceding year (Straus, Gelles & Steinmetz 1981);
  • One study of adolescents indicates that 88 percent of the boys and 94 percent of the girls stated that they were victims of sibling violence at some point during the previous 12 months; and 85 percent of the boys and 96 percent of the girls admitted they were perpetrators of sibling violence.  The most frequently reported violence experienced were being pushed, shoved or pulled, kicked, and having an object thrown at them (Robinson, Wright and Watson 1994).