my 16 year old step son exposed himself to my 11 year old daughter
10/03/2009 at 18:56 PM

I need some advice as to what to do in my situation. My 11 year old daughter came to me yesterday and told me she needed to talk, but didn't know how to say it. I told her to just spit it out and she could tell me anything. (I’ve always told my kids no matter what the situation may be, they can come to me with anything.) So she begins to tell me that her 16 year old step brother showed her his penis. I cried and hugged her and told her I was very sorry! (THANK GOD SHE TOLD ME WHEN SHE DID, WHO KNOWS WHAT COULD'VE HAPPENED NEXT!!!!) I almost flew up off the bed without asking questions or getting his side of the story and wanted to go downstairs to rip his head off his frickin' shoulders or calling the cops and having his ass locked up! I asked her if that's what she wanted me to do and she said no. (I was very close to doing it anyways.) So, instead, I sat here on my bed with her and asked her everything I could think of.....from the first time it happened to the last time, how many times, (too many to count), did he touch her inappropriately, did he ask her to do anything, what he said when he showed her....I drilled her with questions. Instead I called my parents. (I had to lock myself in my bedroom or I WOULD'VE ended up in jail.) I told her I had to wait for dad to get home before I could do anything. So I talked to my husband when he got home and we confronted him immediately. He hesitated, denied it, then I gave him a look as to I already knew the truth. He then admitted it. So we questioned him for several hours and didn't get any real answers as to why it happened. He DID say he knew it was wrong, felt guilty, was sorry for the whole thing, etc. We told him, he knows he's got a problem, he's GOT TO get help, etc. FIRST AND FOREMOST, I DON‘T KNOW WHAT THIS HAS DONE TO MY DAUGHTER, SO I‘M SEEKING HELP FOR HER!! (I also told him it wasn't a threat, it was a PROMISE, if it ever happened again or went any further, I’d dial 3 #'s on the phone and that would be the end of it. I‘m not going to have that shit in my house around my kids!) So, now I’m faced with will I EVER be able to trust him again? My husband leaves for work at 4:30am and I leave at 6:15am. I told him from now on, when it's time to leave for school, he has to leave at the same time my other daughter leaves. (and I know what you're thinking, yes, I asked her if he's ever done that to her and the answer is no, thank God! She's too vocal, would have knocked the living shit out of him and then told us!) Anyhow, my 11 year old HAS been here alone with him in the mornings for about 10-15 min's after my oldest leaves. Well, that shit isn't going to happen again. I told him, she will NOT be left alone with him at any point and time. The story goes on but now I’m faced with my husband saying he has nothing to live for, feels he went wrong raising him, he’s talking about taking his own life, even mentioned getting a divorce because I’ll never feel the same about my step son, etc. I’m torn right now and need some advice from the outside. WHAT THE HELL SHOULD I DO???

First, in order to be able to fully protect your daughters, you need to find alternate care for them both whenever you and your husband are going to be out of the home. Your older daughter should not be responsible for the situation when you are unable to be there. Your stepson should never be alone with either of your girls again.

Second, you are doing the right thing by getting your daughter into therapy immediately. She will be affected by what your stepson has done and needs to be supported and reassured it is not her fault in any way. Some victims of abuse feel guilty they did not tell sooner.

I have personal experience with a similar situation. 17 years ago my then nearly 16 y/o stepdaughter accused my just turned 15 y/o son of touching her inappropriately. She recanted after months of therapy but it put our family through the same hell you are going through. She was never allowed to be alone with any of the other children again and after a few months left and returned to her mother. The damage was done and my husband went through what you describe your husband is going through. Sadly, we ended up divorced because he had to make the difficult decision to leave along with his other 2 daughters because their mother was too mentally ill to care for his older daughter any longer. I had no trust for his daughters (the other 2 had sided with their sister) even after my stepdaughter recanted her accusations. I felt if she were allowed back in the home she would possibly do it, or worse, again. It turned out I was right as she later accused her aunt by marriage and a step-cousin of the same thing.

Situations like this can and do tear blended families apart. Your husband is feeling guilty for what happened to your daughter and possibly partly responsible for his son's actions. He is probably terrified of losing you and helpless to fix what has happened. He also needs therapy which would benefit your entire family.


This is a problem that occurs in intact families as well as blended families.
It is a terrible and crippling problem with reverberations that extend through generations

and yet

the human spirit is remarkably resilient.

Ask your MD for recommendations for therapists for the son, the daughter, and the family, good therapy is priceless, but some therapy is worthless.


Okay, I can tell you from first hand knowledge. Something similar happened to my sister who had 3 stepsons who lived with them and her 6 little girls. HE WILL DO IT AGAIN. You can't wait for "If you do it again, I will call 911" He needs to be reported, he needs to be held accountable, and he needs to be removed from the home immediately.

If you don't do it, he will keep doing it, he will never respect you, he will not take responsibility for it, and his behaviors will get worse.

he is much older than his little sister, this is pedophelia, he has mental issues and he is a sexual deviant. That is the fact. Your daughter isn't a puppy, she deserves to be safe and secure and receive restitution for what he did to her. She needs to see that if someone does something bad to her, they will be punished and will be held accountable.

I don't mean to be harsh -- I totally understand what you are going through. But my sister let her step son get away with it, and tried to 'watch' him and make sure it didn't happen again. She ended up divorcing her husband because she resented him for not kicking his son out of the house and protecting the girls, and it was terrible.
And he did do it again, and again, and again.

There are no 'second chances' when someone does something like that to an 11 y/o girl. There is no room for a 2nd chance. You have to take action and protect your daughter. That boy should never live with you again while your daughters are there.

I wish you the best of luck - and I'm sorry that you are going through this.

In the old days your son would have been taken out back and beaten bloody. We can't do that now ... so you have to legally hold him responsible. Do it now before he gets charged as an adult. And worse yet, if he does something again and something worse, you could lose all your children to the state for not reporting him and properly protecting them.


My little niece was 11 years old when her father married my sister. My sister had a son who was 16 years old (sound familiar?)...

I remember the day I met her; she was 11 years old and as pretty as a little doll. She had big blue innocent eyes and naturally red little plump lips. She was full of life and smart as could be.

One day she told a friend at school that her step-brother was exposing himself to her and putting his private part in her face when she was sleeping. Her little friend convinced her to tell a teacher who called social services.

My sister and her husband said they did not believe my niece.(Honestly, I think they knew it was true but thought it would stop, now that it was known.) Well, it did not stop and in fact escalated. By the time my niece finally told authorities she was 13 years old.

As for her step-brother, he did the same thing to a neighborhood girl who reported it and he ended up in jail.

Don't wait to see if he does this again. Please don't live in the same house with him. Please find a way to live seperate from him.


I think you are overreacting totally inapropriately. Sure, you need to be very firm and ensure the behaviour is dealt with. But to talk of removing your son from the home etc is crazy. You have escalated the whole thing and lost sight of the end - both children need to confront the situation calmly and lovingly. Your son has feelings too and needs suport not rejection. He needs to be able to discuss what happened calmly and he needs your love and support. And by the way, this kind of behaviour is actually not unusual at his age. Don't allow this to destroy the most precious thing - your family relationships. Please try to get this back in perspective and good luck!


He's 16 years old !!! He's old enough to know this was wroing before he ever did it (many times) ... If you think this kind of thing will not escalate then you are being niave.

This little girl is only 11... You are resonsible for YOUR daughter. Yes, this boy has feelings too, so leave that to his dad. I'm concerned about the feelings he has in his pants!! How can you say a 16 year old boy who has passed puberty exposing himself to an 11 year old girl is not unusual? What a scary statement! Maybe it's true?!?! Still won't reverse the effect on the little girl!!!! And its a crime...

Life experience may have made me intolerant, but it has also taught me many lessons.


Let us try to get some perspective here - the parents are talking about breaking up the family, getting a divorce and suicide. That's way out of perspective for a teenager showing his dick to his little sister. Please get some sanity before this regrettable behaviour destroys a whole family - there will be no winners if they can't get it back in perspective. At present nobody got raped, killed or destroyed. Let's hope it can stay that way and reduce the hysteria.


It was a repeated offense. He didn't just "show his dick to his little sister". He repeatedly exposed himself to somebody over whom he had some degree of power. I'm not saying suicide or divorce are appropriate responses, but your response seems to be inappropriately casual.

The OP is seeing to it that there will be supervision, and that her daughter is getting counseling. IMO, the most therapeutic thing for 11 year old and for 16 year old would be for the boy to be removed from the home. It would restore security in the home, and would be a logical consequence for grossly inappropriate behavior.


It doesn't seem like a good idea to leave a young girl alone with her older step brother. Is there any research on how often step brothers do something sexually inappropriate with a half sister? My girlfriend is concerned about leaver her daughter with the girl's father. He travels a lot and leaves the 7 year old girl alone with her 14 and 15 year old step brothers. That doesn't seem wise.


Is there an atmosphere of lewdness in the father's home? Dirty jokes told in front of the children, watching TV shows/movies that explicitly portray sexual behavior, use of pornography? If there is not, I'd say that it is more likely that she will be okay. There are no guarantees, even in intact families.


What would you recommend for 'taking care of it yourself?'


I would say stop being so damned melodramatic for goodness sake. He did it probably for the shock value. Who knows, your daughter could have been winding him up about something else and he did that to shut her up. You have turned him into some sort of sexual deviant/ psychopath. I feel sorry for the poor kid. But then, not sure why I'm saying any of this as the post is so old. Would like to hear how he is doing now though.