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Men also have histories of sexual abuse

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sexual abuse, menWhen he turned twelve, she came to live with them. She was about twenty-one years old. His mother’s cousin. She showed no interest in formal education so they enrolled her as an apprentice with a seamstress. She took on the role of assistant housekeeper for their mother, often assisting her within the home. She bathed all the kids. He was the second child and the first boy. In retrospect, the sexual abuse had started a long time. Being young, he was unaware he was being abused. When she supervised their school runs and during dressing up, she touched him inappropriately. She fondled him and awoke sexual urges in the body of a child. It left him confused and then oddly pleased. The feeling very strange but pleasant.

After dinner most nights especially weekends, the family sat in the compound with his parents discussing and the children playing around before bedtime. Sometimes guests visited. But “they” sat a little apart and always closer to darkened corners. Ostensibly playing. But his older cousin will touch him and bring his hand to touch her. It felt good. He felt guilty. He was mostly confused. He knew it was a wrong thing but would not dare tell his parents.

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So he enjoyed their little secret. Unconsciously, he began to look forward to the moments. To times with her. He began to get bolder. But ‘aunty’ said they should keep things a secret. And so they did.

Needless to say, she gave him his first sexual experience when he was a week to his thirteenth birthday. When he turned fourteen, she left. The story was that she ran away with a man. But feelings were already awakened and he started sex quite early in life. The problem was that he was obsessed with older women. He is married with children. But the obsession stayed. He married a beautiful young professional like himself but still seeks out older women who are uninhibited about sex and fulfilled his sexual fantasies. He is upset because each act leaves him demoralised, upset and disturbed and quite scared if his wife finds out. He feels it is unfair to his wife.

When I watched the first sequel of the film Fifty Shades of Grey, I realised how badly sexual abuse could result in a long-term damage to the psyche of a grown man. Christian Grey, the protagonist or antagonist?was a man whose sexual preference is BDSM. BDSM is roleplaying involving bondage, discipline, dominance and submission and sadomasochism. Although Grey eventually finds redemption but it is later revealed that he became obsessed with the acts after he was sexually abused by a family friend who introduced him to sex.

Many men, at least some I have been friends with have shared that their first experience was with an older woman. With some saying they started quite early. They never viewed it as sexual abuse but it is.  Even where some are aware, they will not voice it out as such acts are seen as being manly and because they have been trained with the culture of silence.The output are many dysfunctional men who may be quite good in bed but suck greatly in relationships.

A young man wrote in a group to express his struggles with obsession over a close family friend who introduced him to early sex. The friend had left the country many years before and had relocated abroad. She returned after many years and when the man met her and realised he was still obsessed, he cried out for help but responses turned to verbal abuse and public embarrassment of the young man.I realised that while fight to end rape and defilement of minors is mostly about the girl child, the boy-child too is left very vulnerable. Unless in extreme cases, where he can open up to a trusted person, many boys get defiled and in some cases raped and are either too afraid or embarrassed to tell. And the exploitation continues leaving us with dysfunctional men who in turn get married to our daughters. See the vicious cycle?

While some continued to blame and jeer at him, I joined those that told him that he needed to speak out and discuss the issue with a trusted person because he is clearly in need of help. He could try talk with a therapist because he is a confused young man with an unfortunately disrupted childhood with prematurely shattered innocence.

Sexual abuse is real. Sexual predators abound. Especially among family members. While we keep vigilance up on our daughters, we should also be vigilant about our sons. Yes boys are sexually abused like girls.And many struggle with the guilt and pain till adulthood.

Leading to the next question. Do men get sexually harassed?

The post Men also have histories of sexual abuse appeared first on Tribune.

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