Let’s not shy away from talking about sexual abuse in boys…
Child Sexual Abuse does not have a gender. It happens to boys just as much as it happens to girls. Either way, sexual abuse is NOT YOUR FAULT.
While boys are just as likely to be sexually abused as girls, in our country, sexual violence against boys mostly goes under-recognised and under-reported which makes boys even more vulnerable!
Let’s look at what makes boys easy targets for sexual abuse –
- Boys are given more freedom than girls in most Indian families when it comes to going to public spaces and interacting with different kinds of people. This increases the chances of them being abused. However,unlike girls, boys are not always warned about sexual abuse. So they are not as guarded and careful.
- Our society often puts the burden of living up to the ideals of masculinity on boys. There are stereotypes like – “Boys don’t cry.” “Don’t cry, like a girl?” This can make them think twice before reporting sexual assault because it would make them look weak.
- Boys are often made to feel proud of early sexual activity, even if it is unwanted. The society attaches a sense of achievement and masculinity to early sexual interaction. Since sex is treated like a game and is a taboo topic, boys hesitate from reporting any sexual violence worried that it will make them feel belittled.
Here is what can stop you from reporting sexual abuse but should not –
- Boys in our country are made to believe that only girls need protection but boys are self-reliant. Well, that’s far from the truth!
- All human beings, irrespective of their sexual orientation deserve to be protected against sexual assault. Hence learning to speak up is imperative.
- Boys are also taught to keep their feelings to themselves and appear like they are always in control and can never be a victim. This patriarchal norm needs to be changed.
How to deal with sexual abuse?
- Our body belongs to Us, and if we do not respect it, how will others do so?
- Try to talk about sexuality with your parents. There is no shame in it.
- Remember some body parts are private and should remain that way.
- Most important, learn about boundaries – good and bad touch.
- Try not to keep secrets from your parents.
- Also no one should manipulate you to take pictures of your private parts.
- Make sure you do not land up in scary and sexually uncomfortable situations.
- Trust your instinct and raise an alarm when someone makes you sexually uncomfortable with their actions, words or behaviour.
- Place your trust in the right person.
- Get educated about sexuality from the right sources like a teacher or counsellor and take precautions in real-time.
If you are a victim of abuse and need to talk to an expert for help, you can leave a comment below or get in touch with the counsellor at firstname.lastname@example.org.