Men victims of rape suffer in silence
From GERALD BUSINGE in Kampala, Uganda
KAMPALA, (CAJ News) – MEN and boys are increasingly becoming victims of sexual abuse in conflict-prone countries but are suffering in silence because of cultural stereotypes.
This is according to a United Nations envoy on sexual violence and conflict who highlighted sexual violence against males took on a range of acts including anal and oral rape, genital torture, castration and coercion to rape others.
“The crippling repercussions of rape in war are devastating for women, but our sons and brothers who are victims also suffer in silence,” said Zainab Hawa Bangura, the United Nations Secretary-General’s special representative.
The problem is compounded by destructive cultural stereotypes where men are viewed as sexually dominant and women as submissive.
According to experts, male victims who have been subjected to any form of penetration therefore risk being labelled as ‘less manly’ – or in some contexts – as homosexual.
Homosexuality is criminalised in 33 African states, which means that fear of prosecution further discourages men from reporting such crimes.
“Underreporting makes it difficult to develop strategies to combat these types of crime,” said Allan Ngari, of the Institute of Security Studies.
The problems are reported to be rife in central and East Africa.
One in three adult male refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo who live in western Uganda are victims of sexual violence.
– CAJ News
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