Sexual abuse is a horrific crime, and unfortunately, it’s a crime that is continuously underreported by the victims. In 2016 alone, more than 57,000 children reported being sexually abused. Considering that only ⅓ of all cases are reported, that number triples when we estimate just how many children are sexually abused every year. Many times, its young boys who are being sexually abused, contrary to the stigma that it’s only young girls. The most horrible part of this all is that most of those who are sexually abused know their abuser well.
Why wouldn’t young boys who are being abused report these crimes? It has been shown that despite possibly knowing the abuser, young boys are even less likely to report their abuse than young girls. This can be traced back to the stereotype that boys and men aren’t seen as victims, and it can be shameful to report sexual abuse at any age. Our culture dictates how men act, and stereotypical men are seen as needing to be strong and independent in the face of any odds. This stereotype is what leads men and boys who have been sexually abused to hold in their pain by “manning up” instead of bringing the people down who committed the crime. Many times this is because of the shame the abused victim feels, even though it’s not their fault.
Although men and young boys are sexually abused, there are significantly fewer resources available to them for help with their issues stemming from their abuse. The gender stereotypes in place can lead to high levels of stress and anxiety, and lead some people to experience depression and other debilitating mental states that are not easily fixed. This can drive some to self medicate in many different ways, most that are not healthy such as alcohol, drugs, and reckless behavior. Some may even overcompensate and try to be seen as “manly” to try and suppress their feelings and inner turmoil, which can fracture relationships with friends and family members who would only want to help.
If you suspect that a loved one is being sexually abused, make sure to look out for warning signs, such as:
- Shy behavior
- Sleeping issues
- Declining performance in school
- Awkwardness around family members or acquaintances
- Mood swings
- Isolating themselves
These warning signs and more could give you the answer to if they are being abused, and can sometimes lead you to the abuser themselves. If you are being abused, or you suspect a loved one of being harmed, make sure to contact the police, professional counseling, and a reputable law firm. At KBA Attorneys, we want to ensure that our clients feel safe and taken care of. We will walk you through the steps that need to be taken to ensure that your abuser sees justice, and want to make sure you are as comfortable as possible throughout the process. Sexual abuse toward men and young boys should be no cause for shame, as it is no one’s fault but the abuser. Contact us today for a private consultation.