Boys and men can be victims of sexual abuse and rape.
According to research, at least 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused in childhood by age 18 and 1 out of every 4 males will experience some form of sexual trauma in their lives.
Sexual abuse happens whenever anyone is forced, pressured or persuaded to engage in sexual activity. When this sexual activity happens to a child, it may not even occur to the child that they have been sexually abused.
A Relationship of Trust If a person, child, adolescent, or adult, is in a relationship of trust with their abuser, feelings and thoughts can become very confused.
Sometimes the physical act of sexual abuse happens at the tail end of more obvious physical and emotional violence. In the mind of a person within a relationship, child, adolescent, or adult, boundaries can very easily become blurred.
If the abuser - male or female - has already established a trust relationship with the person, it is common for that person not to recognise sexual activity as abuse.
It Is Not Always Obvious It's true. Men who have experienced sexual abuse at some point in their lives, may not actually be aware they were actually sexually abused.
Men will often attend counselling to deal with the physical and emotional abuse they have experienced much earlier in their lives, only to discover that the abuse had a distinct sexual component they were previously not aware of.
This is often true of sexual abuse that happens when you are a child or adolescent, and even as an adult.
It has nothing to do with the controversial topic of 'repressed memories' either. It has everything to do with being 'groomed' by your abuser.
What is 'Grooming'? Grooming is when someone builds an emotional connection with a person to gain their trust for the purposes of sexually abusing that person. The most common victims are children or adolescents, but it can happen to anyone at any age. People can be groomed online or face-to-face, by a stranger or by someone they know - for example a family member, friend or professional.
Groomers may be any gender or any age. Groomers will hide their true intentions and may spend a long time gaining a person’s trust.
Groomers focusing on children or adolescents may try to gain the trust of a whole family to allow them to be left alone with a child or adolescent; and if they work with children they may use similar tactics with their colleagues.
Many people don't understand that they have been groomed or that what has happened is abuse. Decades may pass and the abused person may still be unaware that the abuse they experienced as a child, adolescent, or adult, was actually sexual too.
How Do You Define Male Child Sexual Abuse? There are two distinct types of male childhood sexual abuse: contact and non-contact.
Contact Sexual Abuse Contact abuse involves touching activities where an abuser makes physical contact with a person, including penetration. It includes:
Sexual touching of any part of the body whether the person’s wearing clothes or not
Rape or penetration by putting an object or body part inside a person's mouth or anus
Forcing or encouraging a person to take part in sexual activity
Making a person take their clothes off, touch someone else's genitals or masturbate.
Non-Contact Sexual Abuse Non-contact abuse involves non-touching activities, such as grooming, persuading people to perform sexual acts over the internet and flashing. It includes:
Encouraging a person to watch or hear sexual acts
Not taking proper measures to prevent a person being exposed to sexual activities by others
Meeting a person following sexual grooming with the intent of abusing them
Online abuse including making, viewing or distributing abuse images of the person
Allowing someone else to make, view or distribute abuse images of the person
Showing pornography to a child, adolescent, or adult to groom them or expose them to what they want the person to be involved in
Sexually exploiting a person for money, power or status.
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