WHEN one speaks of sexual abuse, girls and women usually come to mind and little thought is given to boys.
But, this was not the case according to the Children’s Authority which said boys were also victims of sexual abuse and must be protected.
While the authority received more reports of physical abuse and neglect of boys, instances of sexual abuse were under-reported.
The authority is calling on the public to recognise that sexual abuse of boys was perpetrated, not only by men, but also by women and must be reported.
“While society often accepted boys having sexual experiences with older women as his initiation into manhood, this must be condemned as it was child abuse.”
The authority said, celebrating sexual abuse of boys by women and accepting it as part of a boy’s development into manhood, caused emotional and psychological problems for the child.
It said in order to protect children from abuse, society needed to change its assumptions about child sexual abuse, victims and perpetrators.
“Parents and guardians are encouraged to let boys know that they can be sexually groomed by a male or female adult, who will befriend them by building a close relationship in order to gain their trust, with the intention of later engaging in sexual activity.”
Meanwhile, the authority has intervened into the report of a 13-year-old boy who was allegedly being sexually abused by a woman. This was reported to the authority which investigated, and support was being provided to the child and his family.
When contacted to determine what this action could have on a boy’s psyche as he grew into manhood, and whether he in turn could become an abuser, the authority’s chairman Hanif Benjamin, who is also a clinical therapist and clinical traumatologist, said he did not want to predetermine the outcome of such matters and preferred to stick with the statement issued by the authority.
If a parent or guardian suspects sexual grooming, they should take the evidence and any information about the alleged perpetrator to the police and report the matter to the authority’s hotlines at 996 or 800-2014.