Tell your sons about male sexual abuse -- awareness is key.
It was reported that a 36-year-old woman, who was the mother of a school friend, gave an 11-year-old boy some booze and later seduced him into a sexual act. This sexual “contact” went on for several months until he fathered a baby. Was this boy a victim of desires or male sexual abuse?
The young boy had reportedly gone to seek help from the principal of the school about mid-way into the 2012 school year. (Names have not been released to protect the identity of both the boy and his child). It was then that he decided to unload his “burden” and sought help.
The principal revealed he remembered the boy telling him: "You won't be very happy with me". He then disclosed that he had been having sexual encounters with his friend’s mother and "and it needed to stop". The then 11-year-old was "very aware" of everything that had been going on.
Recognizing this was male sexual abuse on a minor, the principal got authorities involved immediately. "We got CYF involved the minute we found out about it," said the principal. The police have also been investigating the matter but the woman has denied the alleged sexual contact.
Sexual Abuse Response Center (SARC) on male sexual abuse (explicit details from a victim)
Women can’t be charged with rape?
The laws in New Zealand are such that only men can be charged with rape if found guilty of forcing sex. However, women can only be accused of sexual violation if they have sex without consent.
Sexual abuse counselors are calling for a reform in the country’s rape laws. Justice Minister Judith Collins said: "This case raises an important point. I will seek advice from officials on whether or not a law change is required."
Watch: Male sexual abuse effects (boys and men healing from childhood sexual abuse)
It is time to teach our sons
In the past, we have been more concerned for our daughters’ safety. We tell them: “Don’t let people touch you in inappropriate areas. Don’t let people take advantage of you, be cautious of bad people out there who may sexually abuse or rape you.”
Now, we have to focus on making our sons aware of these same dangers too, because advances may come from both men and women. Your sons can be exposed to male sexual abuse too. So it is essential that they recognise what it is and that it is not their “fault” if it happens to them. They should alert you ASAP if anything odd happens to them, if they are unsure, they should still approach you to talk about it. Speak up and break the silence. Let your young boys know you are there to help. Advances usually come from someone you know or who may even be close to the family. They usually take advantage of his/her familiarity and vulnerability.
Male victims of sexual abuse
In a New Zealand Herald report, Ken Clearwater, the manager of Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse shared that victims of male sexual abuse can be just as emotionally wrecked as a female victim of rape.
He said: "As a male you're supposed to enjoy it but we don't say that about young girls. Males are not seen as victims. The psychological damage is huge, and they carry extra shale because it's a woman and you're supposed to enjoy it."
He added that usually abuse of this kind goes unreported. It is evident that the 11-year-old boy thought that all this was his fault when he expressed "you won't be very happy with me" to the principal. Ken Clearwater shared that the psychological impact of this abuse could actually open up a wealth of risks including drug and alcohol abuse, anger episodes, dysfunctional relationship problems, and mental health issues of other sorts.
Watch: Protect your children from sexual abuse
Sexual violence is sexual violence
According to Dr Kim McGregor, the executive director of Rape Prevention Education, male victims of non-consensual sex acts by women feel that society minimizes the abuse that they suffered. He said: "Just because sexual violence has been perpetrated by a female doesn't make it any less violent." Victims of male sexual abuse suffer from a different kind of judgment by society.
When does a boy become fertile?
An expert in child development, Professor Wayne Cutfield, Liggins Institute director said: "The onset of puberty is a lot younger than people think." Apparently, boys can become fertile just midway through puberty, starting as soon as the age of nine.