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Sibling sexual abuse hurts a Jacksonville father

7:05 PM, May 10, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It is still one of society's greatest taboo but because no wants to talk about it, doesn't stop sibling sexual abuse. According to the Pandora Project studies have shown that between 2% and 4% of people have been sexually victimized by a sibling.  

"What is a father to do?" asked Reggie Thomas.

Thomas, 36, is a divorced father who is worried about his two children now living with their mother.

"I did all the right things I call JSO I took my child to the hospital," he said. 

Earlier this year Thomas made an ugly discovery. Court records show his children's older half-brother, a 15 year old, was charged with sexually abusing his younger siblings. Thomas' two children are eight and nine years of age.

"My daughter said this was going on for three years straight," he said. 

The State Attorney's office prosecuted the teenager.

Thomas said he was placed in the Juvenile facility for 30 days.

The convicted offender is out and Thomas he's supposed to be living with his grandparent but Thomas said the teenager has been in contact with his siblings, his victims.

"He should have no contact," said Thomas, "none at all."

Thomas sits in his Southside apartment, worried if is son and daughter are safe in their mother's home.

"To hear these things come out of your daughters mouth is the worse thing you can hear," he said.

Under state law child abuse must be reported to the Department of Children and Families. 

"We can look into the possibility of neglect regarding the person who has had custody of the children," said John Harrell, "whether she's keeping the teenager away from these children."

However, there are limits as to what DCF can do if it involves sibling abuse.

"We are limited if he's not a parent, a caregiver and he's over the age of twelve," said Harrell, "then it becomes a law enforcement issue."

Thomas is asking the State's Attorney for an injunction to keep the half brother away from his children. SAO spokeswoman Jackie Barnard declined comment because minors are involved.

"It is hard. They're all my children," said Ms. Campbell.

Campbell is the children mother.

"The 15 year old stays with his grandmother, he does not stay in my home," she said.

Thomas said his children are now in therapy, but for him it doesn't ease the pain.

First for you: How to prevent sibling abuse in your family?

-Talk with your children each day about what they've done or felt that day, both positive and negative.

-If there's a babysitter talk about what they did with the babysitter.

-Also be willing to talk with them about their body and sexuality,of course at the appropriate age.

First Coast News

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