Ignoring the boy-child perpetuates violence against women

There was a time as a little child I wondered why people forced themselves onto others.

Tendai Ruben Mbofana

I had also gone through repeated sexual abuse around the ages of five and six years old at the hands of a girl with whom we resided.

Of course, at that time, I had no understanding of why this was happening to me and what this entire act was all about.

Let us remember that sexual awareness amongst my generation came a little bit later than those of nowadays.

Therefore, as much as I had a bit of an idea of the sexual nature of what was taking place, this was at the most naïve level.

That is why I never resisted the advances but merely submitted to everything she did to me.

All I knew was that I did not enjoy or agree to what was happening.

I did not bother telling my parents.

The reason is unclear.

Maybe I did not want to get the girl into trouble or just never appreciated the magnitude of this abuse.

The most likely reason, though, could have been that the sexual violation of boys was never an issue.

Nonetheless, as I grew older and began to grasp issues of sex and sexual relations, I had more questions than answers.

As I read more and more news reports of rape, I wondered why anyone would be so sexually aroused to the point of forcing him or herself onto another, obviously without their consent.

For me, at that time, this was purely a case of an oversexed individual needing someone on whom to relieve their overwhelming desires.

Nonetheless, one thing still bothered me.

How did someone maintain their libido after all the violent struggle involved in subduing their victim – who would obviously offer strong resistance, especially if a bit older than I was during my own ordeal?

Were they not supposed to lose their desire for sex after all this fighting?

Little did I know at the time that sexual abuse was never really about a high libido.

In fact, only as an adult – and now involved in social justice advocacy – did it finally dawn on me that there was far more to gender-based violence.

It was usually – although not always – about the exercise of power, control, and oppression by the perpetrator over the chosen victim.

There were normally elements of hate and resentment, mostly against the victim or what he/she represented.

Issues of low self-esteem and insecurity on the part of the perpetrator also played a vital role in gender-based violence.

This realization was frightening!

I began thinking.

There could be any number of reasons why anyone would want to exert such violent domination over another, especially when motivated by hate and resentment.

They can never be fully and satisfactorily exhausted.

However, there was one factor that sent chills down my spine.

What if some of these abusers were damaged people who themselves endured so much trauma (particularly in their childhood) but never received any help and healing?

In fact, had it not been for the grace of God, could I not also have easily become one of those rapists?

How did the sexual abuse I endured in my childhood really affect me deep down, more so on the subconscious level?

I honestly do not know, although I struggled quite significantly with romantic relationships in my early adult life.

Fortunately, though, my life is now controlled by the Holy Spirit – who guides and guards my thoughts, feelings, and actions.

As such, I do not carry with me any resentment, anger, or hatred towards anyone – since God, through His Son Jesus Christ, healed my whole being.

I was totally healed from this painful experience or any other I encountered in my life.

I completely forgave my abuser, and in fact, we are in very good books today.

If anything, I feel sorry for her, as it is quite possible she was also a victim at some point in her life.

I can never rule out that she could have been subjected to sexual abuse herself – which turned her into the person she became towards me.

Sadly, we have never talked about these things.

Without proper assistance, those who are abused can easily turn into abusers themselves.

This brings me to my next point.

What is the likely outcome of those children, particularly boys, who were abused but never received any help?

Will they not grow up harboring resentment and anger towards women – whom they associate with the people who tormented them during their weakest and most vulnerable point in their lives?

Will they not want to exert the same power, control, and oppression on others, which they were also subjected to during their childhood?

This can be of a sexual nature or other forms of gender-based violence.

As I mentioned before, I am not saying this is the only reason for the disturbing incidents of sexual violence we witness on a daily basis.

There are numerous other factors that can not be fully counted.

These include, but certainly not limited to, pure evil, superstitions, drug and substance abuse, and, as mentioned before, low self-esteem or insecurity.

There can never be justification for any form of gender-based violence.

It is cruel and evil! Period.

Nevertheless, if we are genuine about putting an end to this evil cruelty, then we need to address some of the core factors.

I deliberately chose to focus on boys who were themselves sexually abused for obvious reasons.

I can only speak on what I know from personal experience.

If we do not address the damaged boys and men out there, we are not doing our society any favors.

There is a huge number of bitter, resentful, and angry boys and men who are moving around with a chip over their shoulders due to the hurt they endured as children.

Since the abuse of boys is never taken seriously, most never confided in anyone and have been suffering in silence.

This only serves to deepen this bitterness – seething underneath until it eventually boils over and explodes.

In other words, there is a need for society to finally take the issue of the abuse faced by the boy-child with more seriousness and urgency.

That way, we will have wholesome men (who are not damaged) who are valuable members of the community.

In addition, this also significantly reduces incidents of violence against women.

I honestly believe that as long as we ignore the boy-child, then women and girls will always be in danger.

We now need to foster a breed of boys and men who not only value themselves but also the girls and women around them.

This can certainly not be achieved with an angry, resentful, and bitter generation.

There is an urgent need for healing those wounds.

● Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice advocate and writer. Please feel free to WhatsApp or Call: +263715667700 | +263782283975, or email: mbofana.tendairuben73@gmail.com, or visit website: https://mbofanatendairuben.news.blog/

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