Singapore boys sexually preyed on by man through Facebook
News about Singapore boys sexually preyed on by man through Facebook have been reported recently. Parents, be warned about online risks...
News about Singapore boys sexually preyed on by man through Facebook have been reported recently.
It is a reminder for parents and children to be more aware of online risks, and tactics used by sexual predators.
Singapore boys sexually preyed on
According to The Straits Times, a man who goes by the nickname, "ItsmeDeedeeYourfrenlyfren" on Facebook, has been found guilty of sexually preying on young boys in Singapore.
Soffiyan Hamzah, an LTA auditor, was known to his victims as "Dee" or "Dee Dee". None of his victims knew his actual name or identity.
Apparently, on Facebook he said that he was gay and ready to perform oral sex on anyone. He also lured his victims by promising to pay.
After the boys consented to meet up for oral sex, Soffiyan would arrange to meet them near MRT stations.
He made sure that the meet-up happened late at night, and after cleaning hours, so there would be less people around. Apparently, most of the sexual acts took place in a toilet at JCube shopping centre in Jurong.
It has been found out that he performed oral sex on 10 boys (minors) in public toilets and paid them up upto $100 each time. He also had non-commercial sexual encounters with 5 other underage boys.
The offences were committed from mid 2015 to March this year.
The case came to light when one 15-year-old victim confessed about the encounters to his teacher. The teacher then alerted the police.
On Wednesday (Dec 20), Soffiyan Hamzah pleaded guilty to eight counts of sexual penetration involving minors below 16. Other charges against him include sexual grooming and commercial sex with minors.
Why young boys are vulnerable to sexual abuse
It is a fact that most of the child sexual abuse cases that we come across, involves girls. It has thus become commonplace to regard child sexual abuse as a ‘feminist’ issue.
However, in Singapore, it has come to notice that the number of male victims of molestation is on the rise. According to police data, last year there were 98 male victims of molestation.
And 4 % of the 338 cases handled last year by Aware's Sexual Assault Care Centre involved male victims.
Many other cases continue to be unreported because of shame felt by the victims. Somehow, it seems to be much harder for a male victim to speak up. Or maybe, sometimes, they just can’t identify abuse correctly?
Here are some possible reasons why boys might hesitate to report sexual abuse:
- Sense of shame: Many male victims are unable to talk about their abuse because of the sense of shame. They feel that by doing so, they would be regarded as weak, effeminate and gay, especially if male abusers were involved.
They might also be accused of being stupid, to allow it to happen. Fear of shaming by peers is also an issue.
Society is also partly to blame for this; boys are generally made to believe that they are strong and macho, and can’t afford to cry. Hence they are constantly under pressure to present a strong image.
- Some may have a close relationship with the abuser, which makes it difficult to report the abuse.
- Naturally curious: Another reason that makes boys highly vulnerable to sexual abuse is that they are naturally more “sexually curious” then girls.
If pushed into it, they might even enjoy the excitement and pleasurable sensation of genital fondling and the receipt of oral sex. The abuser might use this as an excuse to blame the victim for the abuse, whereas the truth is, the victim was simply too young and ill-informed.
The abuser might coerce victims into the act by saying things like, “This is what real guys do…Its fun…everyone does it, ” and then victims don’t want to feel left out.
- Abuser incentives : Paedophiles routinely use incentives as their main weapon of lure.
- Scared of abusers: There is a constant fear that no one would believe them if they came out with the truth. What if the abusers beat them up?
- Sexuality education still a taboo: Most parents feel uncomfortable to talk about sexuality and protection topics with their sons.
All these factors usually prevent boys from opening up and not reporting the crime.
Abuse victims are often known to suffer from low self-esteem, anger management issues, poor concentration, relationship problems and drug and alcohol abuse later on in life.
Hence the need of the hour is to educate young people and parents about the issue, and such online risks.
Do note that if you have experienced sexual violence and need support, you can call Aware's Sexual Assault Care Centre helpline on 6779-0282 from Mondays to Fridays, 10 am to midnight.
(Source: The Straits Times)