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Is This A Normal Way To Treat A Sister?

Published: May 14, 2012
Dear TeenHealthFX,


So I have this stepbrother and I’ve known him for 6 or 7 years now he’s 21 and I’m 14. Two years ago my dad kicked him out he hated me back then but ever since my parents have let him back in our lives he’s been treating me really weird. Like always trying to hold my hand and like rubbing my back and hugging me all the time. He’s always finding excuses to like touch me and hang out with me. It’s like he’s always following me around and telling me he loves me. One time he went to "touch my shoulder" and "accidentally" touched my boob. My grandmother says he doesn’t trust him and doesn’t want me to go stay with him in the summer cuz she’s afraid he'll make a move on me, what is going on? I mean is this a normal way to treat a sister and I’m just being paranoid?

Signed: Is This A Normal Way To Treat A Sister?

Dear Is This A Normal Way To Treat A Sister?,


TeenHealthFX is glad that you wrote in with this question since it sounds like you are feeling somewhat confused as to whether or not your step-brother’s behavior is normal and acceptable. FX thinks that it is not healthy how your step-brother is acting towards you, and that you and your grandmother are absolutely right in questioning the appropriateness of what he is doing. While he may not be a blood relative of yours, he is still a member of your family – and being such he should not be pursuing any kind of romantic relationship with you. In addition, you are 14 years old and he is 7 years older than you are – which means that any sexual advances on his part would be considered illegal and abusive. Your step-brother is in a power position here because he is so much older than you – and he is taking advantage of that power in violating your trust and your personal space.


FX recommends speaking with your mother and step-father as soon as possible to inform them of your concerns about your step-brother’s behaviors. You might even ask your grandmother to join in the conversation since it sounds like she has similar concerns of her own when it comes to your step-brother’s motives towards you. If your parents do not act on what you tell them, it is important that you tell another adult – such as a teacher, school counselor or any other trusted adult – and keep telling adults until measures are taken to ensure that your step-brother does not have the opportunity in the future to be hurtful towards you or to make any kind of sexual advances. It is most likely that you step-brother will not stop what he is doing until an adult intervenes in the situation.


For additional assistance or information you can also contact the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAIN) at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673), 24 hours, 7days a week.



Signed: TeenHealthFX