Just because it is talked about less does not mean that the sexual abuse of boys is uncommon or that it has fewer harmful or lasting effects.
The Men’s Project, a not-for-profit organization based in Ottawa, Ontario, shares some important facts about the sexual abuse of boys and its aftermath.
On their website, The Men’s Project offers a brochure that shares important information about the sexual abuse of boys:
For example, did you know that sexual abuse:
- happens to one out of five boys and youth.
- includes unwanted acts such as exposure to pornography, sexual touching, sexual exposure, sexual harassment, child prostitution, sexual assault, and rape.
- occurs when sexual activity is used as a means to control, dominate or humiliate another person.
- is a misuse of power, which may involve physical force or coercion.
- can occur in families, in trusting relationships with adults, in dating relationships, and in institutions (e.g., training schools).
The brochure also shares things for a male survivor of abuse to remember, including:
- You are not alone.
- You are not to blame.
- Healing and recovery is possible.
- Your thoughts and feelings are normal reactions to sexual trauma.
- It may be helpful to see a counsellor.
- Many men benefit from joining a counseling group for survivors.
Finally, the brochure offers suggestions for how to support a male survivor of abuse, including:
- Believe and listen to him.
- Reassure him that he is not to blame for being sexually abused.
- Help him find a safe place to go.
- Support him in making his own decisions.
- Learn about healing and recovery from sexual abuse.
- Believe that healing is possible and let him know that.
- Reflect on your attitudes toward men who have been sexually abused.
- Seek your own support for your feelings and reactions.