Reality of sexual violence against boys
A “Save the Boys Initiative” awareness campaign in an FCT school
Child abuse is a complex phenomenon and a recurring reality that occurs in the places where children should be safest: at home, at school, in worship centers and even online.
1 in 8 boys are sexually abused before the age of one, and unfortunately such cases are rarely reported.
According to UNICEF, many victims of sexual violence, including millions of boys, never tell anyone and when reported the victims are often girls, although there are many cases of boy victims who never have the opportunity to tell their story.
Reality of sexual violence against boys
Ebuka Ede is the founder of Save the Boys Initiative, a non-profit organization that helps struggling boys get back on their feet. He believes that sexual violence is the most common type of abuse boys face.
Ede says the issue of boys has been covered up, saying that according to the cases the organization has handled, there are a significant number of boys who have been traumatized as a result of sexual abuse.
“Sexual abuse of boys is vastly underreported because people think it only happens to girls. There is gross neglect. Previously, laws did not protect boys who were sexually abused. that’s why the victims weren’t talking…Boys are raped/abused by both men and women; research even shows that more boys are abused than girls,” Ede said sternly.
“From the cases we have dealt with, we have seen women fondling the private parts of boys, forcing boys to put their hands in their private parts, exposing their naked bodies to boys, and even exposing these boys to material pornographic… Many of these cases come from trusted people such as aunts, housekeepers, caregivers and family members.
He said the government must make a conscious decision to do more to protect boys because “a broken man in the future will also assault others, and this was the best time to guard against that.
A victim recounts his ordeal
Nonso had been sexually abused since he was in elementary school.
He said it started with a 14- or 15-year-old student who was his senior. “She always put my hand in her private parts. As a child, I had no idea that I was being abused because it felt good at the time.
He recalled another incident from his high school days involving an aunt making him “caress” her private part. He said he didn’t realize these experiences were sexual abuse until he was 19, and he realized that the abusers, who were older than him, knew exactly what he was doing. They did.
The aftermath of this exposure made him attracted to older women and craved more of such experiences as he got older, he admitted.
“Boys are actually neglected; the reason is that society prioritizes girls when it comes to sex. No one seems to care about the mental harm it causes the boys. “You cannot stop sexual violence against boys; I believe early sex education for boys will teach them that this is wrong,” he added.
The psychology of sexual violence against boys
Juliet Yop Pwajok, a clinical psychologist at the University of Jos, explained that the boys had to deal with the consequences of these violent experiences.
“Boys suffer from higher levels of physical abuse, neglect and sexual abuse than girls, which is quite worrying.”
Adults aren’t always the perpetrators of sexual violence against boys, according to Pwajok, who is also a teen mental health and skills instructor as well as an addiction expert.
“The default belief that men are always the perpetrators and women are always the victims is based on damaging stereotypes of male vulnerability and obscures the truth.”
UNICEF reports that 60% of children experience some form of violence, with 10% of boys being victims of sexual violence.
Adamu Adamu, the Minister of Education, has spoken out against the inclusion of sex education in school curricula.
He argued that sex education does more harm to students than good.
He led the Nigeria Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) to remove sex education from school curricula.
However, experts say more and more young people are turning to technology for answers and advice, which is not always the best option, as religious organizations are not always the first choice for many. people.
Governments and educational institutions should, however, strive to provide a surefire method to prevent young people from continuing to risk sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy and violence.
Written by Muzha Kucha; edited by Saadatu Albashir