Thu | Aug 5, 2021

Letter of the Day | Sexually abused men need help

Published:Tuesday | July 20, 2021 | 12:06 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

In a country that has slowly been poisoned with corruption, murder, and rape, it is no surprise that Jamaica has steadily become a nation that lacks empathy. In a recent newspaper article that spoke about the sexual abuse of young boys in Jamaica, something disturbing caught my attention. It was the fact that when males spoke about their sexual abuse problems, they were ridiculed and often at the hands of other Jamaican men.

The report stated that in the decade leading to 2019, there were 3,060 reported cases of male sexual abuse. In that figure, 397 of those male contracted HIV/AIDS. With regard to the young men being forced to have sex, which is not defined as rape in Jamaica, because the Jamaican Constitution does not believe that males can be raped, many of those cases involved much older women such as a trusted aunt or an older cousin.

Imagine the type of emotions going through a mother or a respectable father knowing that their son was sexually abused. Often, the mindset of Jamaicans regarding sex when it comes to young males is one where these boys should not have any boundaries and partake in the act even if it is non-consensual. It is disheartening to see that many of the problems that young males face are swept under the rug and when it comes to sexual abuse it is met with nothing but scorn.

It needs to be stated that a young boy will naturally want to partake in sex as his body matures. However, there is a big difference in desiring or wanting something and being forced into something. Envision the sadness a mother must feel knowing her son picked up an STD after being forced to have sex. Visualise the tears from a caring father’s eyes knowing that when his teenage son turns 18, he will have to pay child support after being intoxicated and abused by someone who was supposed to have his best interest at heart.

Sexual abuse is wrong regardless of the gender, and Jamaica needs to get to the point where males and females can feel safe and free to speak about their traumatic experiences.

DAMALIO POWELL

damalio101@gmail.com