Understanding Trauma & Violence


When I was around 8-9 years old, I used to give my 2-3-year-old sibling kisses on the lips. As far as I can remember, it was completely innocent, and my family often shows affection this way. Some of them still do it to this day. However, due to my OCD and severe anxiety, I'm worried that I might have done something inappropriate and don't remember it properly. I would never want to make someone uncomfortable, and I'm struggling with this thought. Could this be considered child-on-child sexual abuse (COCSA)?


Thank you so much for your bravery in reaching out to us. Based on the information you've provided, it doesn't appear that your actions would be considered child-on-child sexual abuse (COCSA). Kissing on the lips, especially among young children in a family setting where this is a common display of affection, is not inherently abusive or inappropriate.

It's essential to consider the cultural context and family norms when evaluating behaviors. In some cultures and families, kissing on the lips is a normal way to express affection among family members, including siblings, and is not viewed as sexual or inappropriate. Cultural differences play a significant role in shaping our understanding of acceptable forms of affection, and what may be considered unusual or inappropriate in one culture could be a common practice in another.

If your kisses were innocent expressions of familial love, in line with your family's cultural norms, and not driven by sexual curiosity or intent, then it is unlikely to be COCSA. The fact that this type of affection is common within your family and continues to this day suggests that it is a normal, non-sexual way of showing love in your family culture.

However, it's understandable that your OCD and anxiety are causing you to question your memories and worry about the possibility of having made your sibling uncomfortable. OCD can often lead to intrusive thoughts and doubts, causing distress and guilt over actions that may be innocent or harmless.

If you find that these thoughts are persistently troubling you and impacting your daily life, it may be helpful to seek support from a mental health professional who specializes in treating OCD and anxiety disorders. They can help you develop coping strategies to manage your intrusive thoughts and work through any guilt or uncertainty you may be feeling.

Remember, your intentions matter, and it's clear that you care deeply about not causing harm or discomfort to others. Be gentle with yourself and try not to let your OCD and anxiety lead you to doubt your character or memories without clear evidence.

If you continue to have concerns or if new information arises that makes you question the nature of your interactions with your sibling, it may be beneficial to discuss this with a trusted adult or mental health professional to gain further perspective and guidance.

Wishing you self-compassion, clarity, and peace. We appreciate you reaching out to us. 

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