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Dec 30, 2007
You need to look at this another way...
by: Darlene Barriere - webmaster

Brian, in Canada, EVERYONE has a legal obligation to report known or suspected child abuse. I repeat: EVERYONE HAS A LEGAL DUTY TO REPORT ABUSE.

I am not oblivious to your concerns about family. But you must change the way you are looking at this. There is no hope for even putting a dent in child abuse if we continue to turn a blind eye toward the victims, and instead, protect the abusers. There is no hope for victims if we continue to worry about our own personal agendas (such as family relationships) rather than the protection of the smallest and most vulnerable in our society. Whatever you witnessed is probably the LEAST of the abuse your brother inflicted. What people do in public is almost always mild compared to what they do in private.

Yes, reporting could mean the end of the relationship with your brother. Yes, reporting could mean facing the ire of family members. Yes, reporting could mean that your brother's relationship with his girlfriend is over; but from what you tell me, it SHOULD be over and the boy's mother SHOULD be protecting him. Brian, think about it. Being afraid to be hated by family FOR PROTECTING A LITTLE BOY is absurd; and if your family can't understand and appreciate that, then perhaps it's time to cut those ties. You have to be strong. You have to be there for the little boy who is helpless. Keeping the secret means you are enabling your brother. Keeping the secret means you enable the abuse. Keeping the secret and doing nothing effectively means you have allowed the abuse to continue. Don't be one of those people who do nothing, Brian. You lived it; you know what it's like.

As for helping your brother, he's a grown man. HE has to make the decision to change. HE has to make the decision that he doesn't want to be like his father. HE has to make the decision to get himself help. You can be there for him when he DOES make those decisions, but you can't force him to make them.

Brian, the person you need to help right now is the little boy who can't help himself.

Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

Dec 30, 2007
Thanks Darlene
by: Brian

Darlene, you are so right,I don't know what I have been thinking.I do have an obligation to this child to report it,and thats what I am going to do asap.

Regardless of what my brother thinks,or my family.

Because if anyone should understand my family
should understand.It has taken me the better part of the last 35 yrs of my 50yrs on this earth,to overcome and heal from child abuse.

Finding out my brother is an abuser,especially being my twin brother,this has devastated me and caused a lot of confusion,and questions I need answers for.

But it has also helped me to understand the long term effects of child abuse.I have no sympathy for abusers,and I will not make excuses for my brothers abusive behavior,But I now understand the reason why he chooses this behavior,and I can help him to overcome the effects of child abuse.

The road we travel as abused children,never seems to end,and is full of curves and valleys we must overcome to see that there is a sign of hope at the end of this road.

Thank you again Darlene
For providing this site.It means the world to me,to be able to share my story of abuse and healing,if I can help one person by sharing and offering my love and support,than I am living my life with purpose.

Dec 31, 2007
You ARE living your life with purpose...
by: Darlene Barriere - webmaster

You will never know just how much you are helping my visitors, Brian. It isn't something I can measure; but I do know for absolute certainty that many will be helped on a multitude of levels by your story, your comments, your questions, and those of others.

Brian, after you know that the boy you referred to in your question is safe from harm, perhaps you and your family will unite to help your brother. Perhaps you and your family can collaborate to arrange an intervention for your brother. An intervention that will focus on helping him to realize what he has become and the damage he is causing to himself and to others. An intervention that will ultimately show him how much he is loved by his family. An intervention that will help him learn there is another path, and that the cycle of abuse must end with him. I hope you'll keep us apprised.

And Brian, you are very welcome. I'm delighted that my words helped to clear things up for you.

Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

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Disclaimer: To the best of my knowledge the child abuse
stories on this site are true. While I cannot guarantee
this, I do try to balance the need for the submitter to be
heard and validated with the needs of my visitors.



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