You know that feeling when you have a lot to say and you don’t know where to start from? That’s my current dilemma.
I am sure we have all heard different stories about girls being raped, molested as kids, sexually harassed by friends and family members alike. Right?
We empathise with these stories and cast proverbial stones at the monsters that dared do such evil acts to the victims. But how many of us actually believe that boys go through these too? Well, maybe not with the same frequency as girls, but hey, abuse is not gender based.
We’ve heard men themselves joke about it. “If I see where dem they rape guys ehn, I go waka go there oh, make dem kuku rape me join. Na serious enjoyment be that one nah. Wetin guys dey beg for naim person wan get for free laidat. Abeg count me join.”
Do boys face sexual abuse as children? According to research, the answer is a very powerful yes. A CDC study in 2005 showed that 1 in 6 boys experienced unwanted sexual contact by the time they reached the age of 18. The number for girls was a bit larger, it was 1 in 4. So 25% of girls and 16% of boys were reported to have had unwanted sexual activity prior to the age of 18. – http://www.avoiceformen.com
We have this sick mindset of thinking rape CAN actually be enjoyable. Seriously?
To aid understanding, let’s attempt a breakdown.
According to available statistics, close family members and neighbours are most likely to be abusive to boys (their sons, siblings, nephews etc.) Some of them blame the act on things they see on the TV, read in magazines or websites; things they hear their friends talk about, etc.
In school settings, teachers and senior students are likely to abuse their peers. However, classmates and/or even junior students can be abusive as well.
Today, so many young boys in male hostels have reported incidents of their senior ones forcing them to do strange sexual acts with them.
Don’t start thanking your lucky stars yet if your boys are not in boarding schools, because this also happens right at home, under our very noses. In a research we carried out prior to this article, here are some responses we got:
1. My elder sister molested me at age 12. I didn’t really understand it then, but she would make me sleep near her at night, pull me on top of her and make me pleasure her…
2. My mom was taking some courses in the University then, so she would drop me at my grandmother’s. One of my aunts who stayed there would bring me to her room after school and start stroking my penis. Then she would pull me on top of her; it was really painful and uncomfortable. I don’t know why anyone would think abuse is enjoyable. I was traumatised and unable to tell anyone till now.
3. When I was 7 years old, our neighbour then would come and take me to their house in the guise of looking after me for my mom. She would take my penis in her mouth. It was weird at first, but then I began to like it. Her sister once caught us in the act and I thought I was finally free, but she joined her sister and I was made to do it to them both. Till now, that experience still haunts all my relationships.
The list is endless.
It’s significant to note that women aren’t the only ones that abuse boys. Men and boys do too.
If you have seen the movie, October 1, by Kunle Afolayan, the prince that was killing young women had that vendetta because the clergy man that took him to school sexually harassed him severally. Being a prince, he didn’t want to embarrass his Father by returning home. But the more he stayed, the more his mental health deteriorated.
Apart from the above, stories of older uncles defiling their nephews, or stepfathers abusing their stepsons, abound.
Effects of abuse on boys!
Because of the unreasonable demands and strange habits they can not let go of, some boys find that they are unable to sustain a relationship. If you have seen the movie, Fifty Shades of Gray, you will understand this better.
One guy who was gang raped said, “Till now, I get scared whenever I see a group of girls walking towards me. I can barely sleep well because it gives me nightmares and I have been unable to touch a lady since then.” Like most psychological issues, insomnia might become the order of the day.
Some other abused boys contract sexually transmitted infections. A doctor once told us in secondary school that HIV/AIDS can be easily transmitted in gay sex than heterosexual relations; something about anal sex being the fastest way for the virus to be contracted. Imagine what an untreated infection can do to the reproductive organs and tract.
Yet, some become so vengeful that they start raping or molesting younger children, both male and female. Those that don’t molest others, would find other ways of punishing innocent people later. People that remind them of their abusers.
Some boys who have been abused become so distracted and absent minded that they are unable to perform well academically or at their various places of work…
1. Do not wait to be told before you ask your boys once in a while if anyone is touching them indecently. Do not have the belief that they are too young. They see things in this global age, so educate them. Let them know how dangerous and wrong it is when anybody starts touching them the wrong way. If you don’t teach them the right thing, someone or something else will teach them the wrong thing. Develop a relationship with your boys that will make them so comfortable with you that they can tell you anything.
2. Be conscious of who you leave them with. Don’t believe anyone is a saint – neighbours, sisters, brothers, uncles, preachers, priests, etc. It’s best to look after your boys yourself. But when you’re out of options, choose carefully so as not to put them in the wrong hands.
3. Most importantly, pray! It’s not only against spiritual attacks that your prayer warfare should be directed at. Sisters abuse brothers, fathers abuse sons etc. So, pray against any form of spiritual and physical attacks on your children. Before you leave them with anyone, try to say a short prayer and let them know you are leaving them in the hands of God. There’s always need to pray.
4. When an offender is caught, stop that notion of “it is a family matter.” Please report any offender to those who can actually do something about it. I wonder how many of our law enforcement agencies treat such matters with the seriousness they deserve…
We agree that we cannot exhaust all the possibilities of this topic. But we can always ask God to help us protect our children. Be prepared!
This article was written by
Oluwaseun Wende (Bea’s Aloe), 2018
Oselumhense Anetor (@aboutlovesexandrelationships), 2018