Why aren’t Men talking about sexual abuse?

Sexual abuse and gender based violence are cited on the issues of masculinity, it’s because men aren’t taught to see themselves as part of a group with a culture. I think there’s a lot of men who are hostile to the very notion that somehow we are implicated as a sex class in what some (we) men are doing.

Its also cited a lack of accountability and responsibility to change that culture, and the idea that caring about women is associated with weakness rather than strength.

Some Men will say, ‘I’m a good guy. This isn’t my problem. I don’t rape women. I don’t abuse my girlfriend. “I think we need to raise the bar a little higher for what it means to be a good guy. I don’t rape women’ or ‘I’m not a rapist’ is not particularly impressive.

Targeting Men in sexual abuse prevention programs is still not as common as it should be, perhaps challenging them to be leaders in these conversations is a good way to start. How about that?

Men are responsible for the vast majority of sexual violence. Too often we depend on women to give solutions about how to curb sexual harassment and assault. Women’s voices are critical in this conversation, but we need some answers to come from men for a change.

Lets supporting women who been sexually abused, harassed. If a friend tells you that she has been sexually assaulted, you should respond the same way you would to a relative
Believe her. It’s not your role to question whether a sexual assault has occurred.

Never blame her for being harassed. No one ever deserves to experience sexual assault. It doesn’t matter whether she was drunk, high or not even how she was behaving or even if she’s involved in a relationship with the offender. SEXUAL ASSAULT IS NEVER, EVER THE SURVIVOR’S FAULT.

Help her explore options. Don’t take charge of the situation or pressure her to do what you think she should. Give her freedom to choose a path to recovery that she’s most comfortable with, even if you would do things differently. There is no “right” way for someone to respond after being attacked.

Listen to her. It’s important to let him know he can talk to you whenever she’s ready. At some point during her recovery process, she may come to you for support. Whenever that happens, just listen. Don’t interrupt or inject your own feelings. Your caring attention will be very valuable.

Ask before you touch. Don’t assume that physical contact, even in the form of a hug, will be comforting. Give her all the space she needs, and try your best not to take his reaction personally. You can quietly signal your openness to physical contact by sitting with an open posture, and you can simply ask if she would like a hug.

Get help for yourself. The impact of sexual assault extends far beyond the survivor. If you reach out to support a friend or loved one, it’s a good idea to contact counselling services. Suppressing your own emotions will only make you less capable of helping someone you care about.

Counselling can help Women cope with the powerful physical and emotional reactions to their experience. Seeking help can be an important way for them to regain a lost sense of control.

Family and friends of Women who’ve been sexually abused or assaulted become secondary victims of the experience, and may also have special issues and concerns that can be addressed through counselling.

We should focus on creating spaces that are equal for both men and women so that no one feels less or more privileged than the other because the biggest cause of Gender Based violence is a result of unequal distribution of power between men and women

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Frank Byaruhanga is a human rights activist with years of experience in community dialogues, digital communication, advocacy and digital campaigns. He specializes in Media Relation Work, Management and Training with sufficient knowledge in Governance, Accountability, Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights, Youth-led research, Content developer, Creative Activism, Social Media Management and documentary photography.

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