By Josephine Oguntoyinbo
Contrary to the belief that only young females are being abused in the society, no fewer than 872 boys have recently been abused sexually, emotionally and psychologically in Nigeria.
The Director, Evaluation, Continuous Assessment, Guidance and Counselling, Ondo State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Mrs. Olufunke Ademuyiwa gave the figure at a lecture in Akure.
According to her, boys and men also have feelings and challenges, but are known to keep quiet and endure even in the face of problems and challenges.
To this end, she said parents must be very attentive and alert as they mentor children, emphasising that abuse is not restricted to a particular gender.
Ademuyiwa informed that as girls need proper counselling session, boys also need to be able to overcome future challenges and depression.
The director noted that boys and men also experience gender based violence as well.
She advised parents and guardians not to display shock, disbelief, anger, or any other reactions that could cause distress and silence when a child is explaining his/her challenges or problems.
The Director recommended that for counselling to be effective in the fight against gender based violence, a counsellor’s office must be accessible with awareness and sensitisation on the danger of violence.
She added that the counselling of children who grow up in an abusive environment is very important, while victims must endeavor to speak out.
She equally advised that stakeholders must be engaged so that they can be effective allies in inclusive conversation about the issues in communities, religious gatherings, forums, meetings among others.