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#208093 - 02/29/08 09:09 PM Advice for a concerned brother
ConcernedBro Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/29/08
Posts: 2
I just recently found out that my younger brother was molested a few years ago by a pedophile who has since been caught and charged in relation to over thirty cases and now, my brother's being called into court to be a witness.

I was shocked when I first found out from my mother and I just learned that my brother will be starting therapy soon. I'm away from home at college right now, but I just need some advice on how I should approach him about the topic and help him through it.

Any help would be appreciated.

#208100 - 02/29/08 09:29 PM Re: Advice for a concerned brother [Re: ConcernedBro]
JustScott Offline
Greeter Emeritus

Registered: 01/28/08
Posts: 2615
Loc: Central PA
Don't pressure him to tell you anything he isn't ready. Just be there for him. Let him know that you love him, that you believe him, that you'll be there for him.

Really, just be there in every capacity that you are able to be and let him know that.

#208102 - 02/29/08 09:34 PM Re: Advice for a concerned brother [Re: ConcernedBro]
Freedom49 Offline

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 2724
Loc: Washington State
Hey guy I am so impressed that you came here to help your brother. That is so wonderful. You are a really great guy to have as a brother.
To your question the first and formost thing is to believe him. Nothing hurts more after something like this than to not be believed. Obviously you do cause your here but keep in mind others may not and be there for him if that should happen.

Second it is not unusual for a victim to assume blame for the abuse. Reassure him that you do not blame him and he is not to blame himself either.

Third. Listen to him if he wants to talk. Don't pressure him if he doesn't. Just be there for him. He will probably be confused, ashamed, feeling dirty and less than in some form or another.

Keep the pity level to a minimum and just love him like you always did. No more no less. He will already feel like a freak, and different but you need to reasure him he is just the same kid brother as he always was to you. Try not to make him feel different as he related to you.

Love, acceptance and support as he goes through this from you will mean more than you can possibly know.

Thanks again for caring and being there for him.

Edited by Freedom49 (02/29/08 09:36 PM)

#208108 - 02/29/08 11:05 PM Re: Advice for a concerned brother [Re: Freedom49]
KENKEN Offline

Registered: 09/25/07
Posts: 762
You are an awesome brother to be so concerned about your younger brother. I echo the suggetions mentioned above. I might just add that telling your brother what he tells you will be held in confidence, just between him and you.

I can only tell you from my experience that developing trust is so very important. He needs to know he can trust you. He needs to know he can lean on you for support. He needs to know how much you love him.

I wish your brother and your family well.



From the Movie: Antwone Fisher


#208119 - 03/01/08 12:22 AM Re: Advice for a concerned brother [Re: KENKEN]
sabata Offline

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1950
boy this is so different than what i am use to--------------------concerding my brother was the one who was abusing me--------------------------------your brother is so luckey to have you------------------------------------maybe let him know about this site------------------helping him know he isnt alone-------------------steve

#208143 - 03/01/08 02:03 AM Re: Advice for a concerned brother [Re: sabata]
KeithR Offline

Registered: 10/28/06
Posts: 363
Loc: Georgia
I wish you had been my brother.

Make sure he knows you love him. Make sure he knows if there's anything he ever needs to talk to you about you're there to listen.

Remember, this isn't what he is. It's something that happened to him. What he is, is your brother.


#208158 - 03/01/08 04:19 AM Re: Advice for a concerned brother [Re: KeithR]
ConcernedBro Offline
New Here

Registered: 02/29/08
Posts: 2
I just wanted to thank everyone for responding to my questions and for their kind words and I'll work on incorporating all the advice that's been offered.

But I have another question (and I hope I don't offend anyone because of its sensitive nature) and that is "How do victims try to deal with this?"

Since I'm going to help him through this, I'd like to get an idea of what would run through his head.

Edited by ConcernedBro (03/01/08 04:19 AM)

#208159 - 03/01/08 04:32 AM Re: Advice for a concerned brother [Re: KeithR]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA

It's so great you want to help and support your little brother. That's going to be very important to him to see he has you on his side. Here are some thoughts you might find useful:

DO SAY: "I believe you". Abusers keep boys shut up by telling them that if they ever say anything no one will believe them. Telling your brother you believe him invites him to break the silence and talk to you.

DO SAY: "It wasn't your fault". Again, abusers often tell boys that they were in on it, that they liked it (because their bodies responded), and so on. And so often a boy will think it's all his fault anyway. He needs to know this is absolutely untrue. It is never the boy's fault. The blame always belongs 100% to the abuser.

DO SAY: "It's okay to cry." What has happened to your brother is a terrible thing, and as he faces it he may well become overwhelmed by his emotions and feelings and need to cry. Let him know that it's a male macho bullshit myth that "real guys don't cry".

DO SAY: "You're not alone and you can talk to me." One of the most crushing burdens of abuse is that feeling of being utterly alone. Many boys have no idea that others have been abused too. They think it's only them, which in turn reinforces their feelings of shame and guilt. Your brother needs to know that one out of every six boys in the USA is abused before he reaches his 18th birthday. He is not alone.

There are also some things you should watch out for:

DON'T SAY: "Why didn't you say no/make him stop/tell/run?" Even if you ask these questions only out of curiosity and interest, they will sound to your brother like he is being blamed. More than 90% of the time a boy is abused by someone he knows and trusts, and when it happens the first time he often freezes and cannot respond - everything is happening too quickly. Thereafter shame and guilt take over and keep him silent. Quite often the boy feels worthless and thinks he deserves the abuse. All of this is of course false.

DON'T SAY: "Don't worry. You will get over it." That shows the boy that you have no idea how catastrophically he has been harmed. He won't just "get over it"; in most cases he will need professional help. Saying "get over it" will sound to him like his feelings and pain don't count.

DON'T SAY: "I feel so sorry for you." Your brother will need your care, affection, attention and love, but if he feels he is being pitied he may resent your best efforts to support him.

You might also want to let your brother know about this site. We have a great bunch of teen guys here and they have their own forum where they can talk to each other. The site is carefully moderated and our priority is safety for everyone who comes here.

If you have further questions please feel free to post them, or PM me or one of the other moderators.

Much love,

Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

#208162 - 03/01/08 04:45 AM Re: Advice for a concerned brother [Re: roadrunner]
KeithR Offline

Registered: 10/28/06
Posts: 363
Loc: Georgia
Dear Bro,

I think Larry has excellent advice. I would also like to suggest that you may want to read on the subject. There is a book for young Adults called How Long Does It Hurt. It is supposed to be for young surivors and their friends and family.

I know that reading a similar book was helpful to me. Also when I began recovery, and even now, coming to this site and connecting with other survivors who's been there is invaluable.

I hope this helps.


#208192 - 03/01/08 01:28 PM Re: Advice for a concerned brother [Re: KeithR]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
I agree with everything said above; it's great advice. Thank you for supporting your brother and being concerned enough to learn about what he's going through. I'm sure you already know that the SOB who hurt your brother has caused your whole family to be in a state, not only wanting to help your brother, but wanting justice or even revenge. This site can help you and your family learn how to deal with your own issues too.

ROCK ON.......Trish

If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

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