Boys 'also suffer from sex abuse trauma'

06 July 2015 - 02:09 By Nivashni Nair

Boys raped or otherwise sexually abused by women do not enjoy it. Following the response to the conviction and imprisonment of a 20-year-old KwaZulu-Natal woman for raping a 16-year-old boy, child rights activists explained that the sexual abuse of boys by women should not be made light of.Childline director Dumisile Nala, said: "It is disturbing that many people think the violation of a boy should be celebrated. We know that in the case of boys sexual abuse is under-reported because people feel sex for men should be celebrated, not realising boys can be exploited."Hundreds of social media users, responding to news articles last week on Nontobeko Gwala's 11-year sentence for a rape in Mtunzini last month, said the boy should "have enjoyed it and kept quiet". Others ridiculed him for not being grateful for "the offer of free sex".Some people criticised the Esikhawini Regional Court for jailing Gwala because "men can't be raped".Gwala was arrested hours after she raped the boy and assaulted a boy who witnessed the abuse. The boys told their parents and a case of rape was opened."We need to stress that we need to protect all children, boys and girls. That is why the legislation has gone to the extent of including the abuse that can happen to a male and it clearly identifies that as abusive and the same measures should be taken to protect them," Nala said.She said boys experienced trauma similar to that of girls who were raped."It's an extra burden of shame and guilt. We also now know that girls deal with trauma inwardly but boys express it outwardly. You will see outward anger and negative feelings in boys," Nala said.Jackie Branfield, founder of Operation Bobbi Bear, an organisation fighting for the rights of sexually abused children, applauded the boy and his parents for fighting for justice."He is a brave young man and his parents must be applauded for sticking by him," Branfield said.

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