For a long time, our attention has always been focused on the girl child, with little or no attention on the boy child. There have been gory cases of sexual abuse of boys, we’ve heard graphic details of rape of the boy child which has had a bad psychological effect on their mental health. It is wrong for the boy child to struggle with issues of sexual abuse, whilst the female child gets all the attention about the same issue.
The reason why the abuse of the boy child hasn’t gained relative importance, especially in Nigeria, is because the society sees the boy child as the stronger sex and are expected to fulfill the expectation of the society of being strong and bear the pain, they are expected not to show any weakness even at their disadvantage, as weakness is something the society attributes to the girl child. Due to this factor, the issue of boy child abuse has been neglected and overlooked. In 2018 the National Crime Record Bureau of Statistics recorded that there were 204 cases of boy child sexual abuse. UNICEF in 2015 reported that one out of 10 boys in Nigeria have experienced sexual abuse.
The stigma and shame attributed to the abuse of the boy child, has made them easier prey to predators as they are not as protected and watched as the girl child. Due to the patriarchal nature of Nigeria, the victims are left to deal with the pain by themselves as it is something considered shameful. They end up being depressed and plagued by the trauma. The experience they get from the abuse makes them more prone to drug abuse and violence which contributes to male violence towards females. Some of them end up becoming predators.
While we are busy campaigning and clamoring for protection over the girl child, we should make sure the same is done for the boy child. One gender should not be given more priority than the other, as both genders need each other. You teach your girl child about sex education teach your boy child too.
Several non-governmental organizations have come out to address this issue. Boys Lives Matter is an NGO founded by Nkechi Macaulay designed to create awareness of the sexual abuse of the boy child. Another NGO “Boys without Borders” is also designed to stand in advocacy, sensitization, and orientation of the boy child. New organizations are being established to address this issue, to have a healthy community with sexual abuse of both genders put on check.
Boys should also be taught to voice out whenever abused, concealing it will do them no good. The issue of sexual abuse of the boy child should be brought to the notice of the parents, teachers, hostel masters( boarding house), and the society at large. Let everyone know that boys get sexually abused too!!!!