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Our Values


Guiding Principles

We represent all facets of sibling sexual trauma and seek to support all those who are affected. 


We value and amplify the voices of lived experience. We support survivors to define their own experience of trauma. 


We respect the value and humanity of each person, understanding that behavior alone does not define a person’s worth.


We strive to include and represent people of any culture, gender, age, severity of actions, type of trauma response, family structure, physical and mental abilities and diversities.


Our decisions and resources will be informed by both scientific evidence and lived experience.


We view sibling sexual trauma/abuse as primarily a public health issue.


We believe that restorative, rehabilitative, and criminal justice are all valid options. We support those affected to choose any approach they feel is best for their situation.


We strive to act through connection, collaboration and cohesion with organizations and individuals whose goals are aligned with ours. 


We support prioritizing our own self-care, mental health, and family stability.

The Language We Use


5WAVES defines siblings as people who share the same parents, and/or were raised in the same home as children.

We recognize that sexual harm is also common among other relatives, such as  cousins, and between children who are not related. We hope that our resources are helpful to those facing these tragedies as well.

  • Our resources focus on behavior that happens when both siblings are still minors

  • Our preferred terms for general use are "child who was harmed" and "child who caused harm"

  • We strive to focus on  actions--"harmful sexual behavior" and effects--"sexual trauma" rather than attaching labels to children


We recognize that abusive sibling sexual behavior can also begin or continue when one or both siblings are adults. Our resources do not specifically cover this circumstance, but we welcome those who are affected by it to use any information that is relevant.

You are the expert on your own experience!

Sibling sexual trauma encompasses an incredibly broad range of possibilities and circumstances.

We support all individuals to choose the language that best fits their lived reality.

Sibling sexual abuse is a more common term. We often use the term sibling sexual trauma, because it is more inclusive, less stigmatizing, and focuses on the harmful effects rather than the motivation or legal definition of behavior. 
Gender Inclusive...
Anyone of any gender can experience or cause sibling sexual trauma or abuse
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