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Global Advocates Emphasize Urgent Need to Address Sexual Abuse Against Boys on International Day of the Boy-Child

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On the occasion of this year’s International Day of the Boy-Child, global advocates like Halima Layeni from Life After Abuse Foundation are highlighting the pressing issue of sexual abuse against boys worldwide.

The founder of Life After Abuse Foundation, Halima Layeni, brought attention to the prevalent issue of sexual abuse against boys, citing global statistics that reveal approximately one in six boys experience some form of sexual abuse before reaching adulthood. She emphasized the urgent need to address this crisis and safeguard the rights of the boy-child.

In a related event, Mrs. Florence Godwin Mutkut, the wife of the General Officer Commanding 8 Division and Chairperson of Nigerian Army Officer’s Wife Association, echoed the importance of protecting the boy-child from harmful societal influences in Sokoto.

Layeni pointed out that the neglect of sexual abuse against boys often leads to survivors facing skepticism and blame, contributing to a culture of silence and shame. She emphasized that any sexual activity with a child below the age of consent constitutes rape, regardless of their participation.

The prevalence of sexual abuse can have long-term effects on boys, including psychological and emotional challenges such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The impact can persist into adulthood, affecting self-esteem and the ability to trust others.

Advocates are calling for policies that prioritize the well-being of boys and the establishment of social support centers exclusive to male survivors. Education on consent, healthy relationships, and bodily autonomy are seen as crucial in empowering boys to recognize and resist abuse.

During the International Day of the Boy-Child celebration, Mrs. Florence Godwin Mutkut emphasized the need to give proper attention, care, guidance, and support to the boy-child in society. She highlighted the decline in boys’ enrollment in schools and the rise in vices they are exposed to.

The celebration in Sokoto involved a march with boys from NAOWA nursery and primary school, as well as Command secondary school, to raise awareness about the challenges faced by boys and the importance of supporting their development.

Rachel Adams

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