Sexual Assault Against Boys is a Crisis

By Khadija Mbesa

Sexual assault can happen to anyone, no matter your age, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Men and boys who have been sexually assaulted or abused may have many of the same feelings and reactions as other survivors of sexual assault, but they may also face some additional challenges because of social attitudes and stereotypes about men and masculinity.

Sexual violence against boys is an emerging problem that has largely been neglected in research,
although awareness is growing.

we often focus on child sexual abuse, and that is great but we have thrown away the idea of sexual abuse on boys and men.

Why is the rates of sexual violence against boys low across the whole world?

The offence of aggravated indecent assault clarifies that women and men can be victims of sexual assault and that both male and female perpetrators of the offence can be charged.

Many people always educate men on how to protect the women, respect them and not rape them, forgetting that boys also get raped, sodomized and assaulted indecently on regular basis.

sexual violence against girls are rampant more than against boys, can you ask yourself why?, that is not because boys aren’t victims of sexual assault. it is because a high percentage of them do not speak up, fearing the stereotyped communities surrounding them.

Perpetrators can be any gender identity, sexual orientation, or age, and they can have any relationship to the victim. Like all perpetrators, they might use physical force or psychological and emotional coercion tactics.

Sexual assault is in no way related to the sexual orientation of the perpetrator or the survivor, and a person’s sexual orientation cannot be caused by sexual abuse or assault. Some men and boys have questions about their sexuality after surviving an assault or abuse, and that’s understandable.

How can you as the community help boys or men who have been victims of sexual assaults?

Many people in crisis feel as though no one understands them and that they are not taken seriously. Show them they matter by giving your undivided attention. It is hard for many survivors to disclose assault or abuse, especially if they fear not being believed because of stereotypes about masculinity.

Avoid making overly positive statements like “It will get better” or trying to manage their emotions, like “Snap out of it” or “You shouldn’t feel so bad.” Make statements like “I believe you” or “That sounds like a really hard thing to go through.”

Even if you are curious about what happened and feel that you want to fully understand it, avoid asking for details of how the assault occurred. However, if a survivor chooses to share those details with you, try your best to listen in a supportive and non-judgmental way.

There may be other aspects in men’s lives that could limit their ability to access resources and services after experiencing sexual assault or abuse. For example, trans boys may face barriers when navigating medical care. Be sensitive to these worries, and when supporting a survivor try your best to suggest resources you feel will be most helpful.

We must cut out the stereotypes in our community of men masculinity.

Treat your sons how you treat your daughters. protect them, talk to them regularly to make sure they are all right.

The story about boys has yet to be told, and I think it’s a really important story

Study On Sexual Violence Affecting Boys In Zimbabwe – FOST.pdf

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