End the silence on the abuse of the male child. While discussing issues facing the girl child, the abuse of the male child has been overlooked and unknown. The 2018 National Crime Records Bureau figures recorded 21,605 child rape cases, 204 of which were boys. This, says children’s rights activist Divya Vaishnava, suggests that the issue is underreported.
Boys suffer high levels of violence, including sexual abuse, which makes them more prone to violence as they grow older. In the film Anatomy of Violence, based on delinquent rapists in Delhi in 2012, Deepa Mehta explicitly exposes the abuse of rapists during their teenage years, so much so that they appear, according to recorded evidence, unprotected by the victim’s suffering. In fact, one of them accused him of making them do what they did.
Boys are easy prey for attackers in many ways as they are not guarded or protected as girls. There is a great deal of shame and humiliation associated with the abuse of a boy child – it is expected to be strong in the patriarchal society. Such a society prevents a baby boy from being given help; it is something he is left to deal with on his own.
Filmmaker Insia Dariwala, who conducted an online survey of 160 men a few years ago, found that 71% of respondents were abused as children; and among the victims, 84.9% said they did not tell anyone about it because of thoughts of shame, guilt, fear and confusion. Adults are not the only ones to suffer as a result; In unprotected situations, such as those of street children or children in slums, the perpetrators are often older children, said Indu Prakash Singh, who has done a great job of abusing children in slums.
A boy who has been sexually abused may end up with mental health problems, trauma, depression, suicidal thoughts, drug abuse, and a tendency to violence. It is rare to talk about these issues, even if they affect men’s violence against women in later life.
The patriarchs forced the survivor to remain silent in his old age, for fear of being labeled as weak. The issue of male child abuse should be included in the discussion and parents, teachers and the community should be involved in addressing this. Boys should be educated about what constitutes bullying. Many young men, especially those without parents or other adults, do not realize that they have been sexually abused.
While the MeToo organization opened up stories about abused but silent women, it caused harassment for the men in power. Now boys, victims or victims of bullying, need to hear from survivors about their stories, so that they can get the right help in time. The government needs to focus on the issue. Peace that strengthens the evildoer. Boys should be told by trusted adults that admitting bullying is not a sign of weakness or being taken for granted. Time to end the silence on the abuse of the male child.