In 2016, people became interested in the domestic violence charges leveled against Johnny Depp, according to Amber Heard’s testimony, her husband had hit her several times and she had pictures to support this claims. Naturally people showed empathy despite claims made from Johnny’s ex wife that he would never hit a woman. Three years since the court settled their divorce, new evidence has come up as johnny depp filed a defamation suit worth 50-million dollars accusing his ex wife of being the actual perpetrator of the violence contrary to the previous evidences. Interesting turn of events you will say.
Similarly, preacher and gospel artist Donnie McClurkin was raped at the age of 8 by his uncle. At 13 he was sexually molested again, this time by his uncle’s son. This caused great hurt and confusion in his life. For many years to follow, the preacher said he realized that his uncle was a broken man, unhealed with no one to help him. He spent years wrestling with homosexuality, he was devastated and this cousin of his threatened him that he shouldn’t tell or he would do worse. He believed him and remained silent for years.
Over the years, men have always been seen as the stronger sex as against the women, hence, he should not show any form of weakness as this will rub off negatively on their ego. If such a victim decides to speak up, he is often seen as a big baby seeking for attention. Unfortunately, Johnny depp’s case is one of the many cases of gender based violence against men that hardly gets reported in the media and even if it does, it is not given the prominence that it requires.
Gender based violence is defined as any form of violence that is directed at an individual based on his or her biological sex or gender identity. This includes physical, sexual, verbal, emotional and psychological, abuse, threats, coercion, economic and educational deprivation whether in pubic or in private. With this definition it is safe to say that gender based violence is not limited to females only.
National Sexual Violence Resource Centre (NSVRC) reported that one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives, and one in six men have experienced some form of sexual violence in their lifetime. The report further states that 52.4% of male victims report being raped by an acquaintance and 15.1% by a stranger. This case is often under reported, yet it is steadily gaining ground.
Sadly, the advocacy for the girl child continues to grow without a balance advocacy for the male child. If this narrative is not changed, it might become too late by the time we realize that the male child that was molested at a tender age has become the sex addict who now goes around looking for who to molest just to ease his conscience. This is well depicted in Kunle Afolayan’s movie, October 1, when Aderogba who had been molested by the priest sort for a way to ease to forgive himself by sexually assaulting and killing virgins.
Without a doubt, the male child also goes through the same emotional trauma, identity crisis, and depression that their female counterparts go through, sometimes worse as they are ashamed to speak up. Sometimes, men don’t just face sexual assault but get beaten by their partner, gang raped or assaulted by group of friends of their partners.
The earlier we realize that men are also human being with blood flowing through their veins, they are not emotionless the society pictures them, the better for us in tackling the issue of gender based violence against men. Also, parents should protect their male children the same way they will protect the female, as gender based violence is not limited to the female child.
Written by Oluwatosin BOYE, You can follow her on twitter @ oluwatosin_boye