Women are as capable of being perpetrators of sexual abuse as men are. An article on Human Rights Violations in Prisons highlights one of possibly many cases of sexual abuse by a woman.

One of the biggest misconceptions regarding CSA is that it “only happens to girls”. That is untrue. Boys face sexual abuse at a higher frequency than girls, say statistical reports.

However socialization patterns prevent boys from speaking about their “emotions” for fear of coming across as “unmanly” or “weird” so there is more dialogue on the sexual abuse of females than there is on the sexual abuse of boys. One male survivor of sexual abuse by his female teacher recalls the confusion it resulted in.. “one minute she was reprimanding me for not doing my homework and the next minute she was all over me. the next day when i went to school, she acted like nothing had happened.this happened till i graduated.” Another survivor says his aunt was very “hot” and said it was a kick for him to have his first sexual experience with her at age 12, but later felt “sick” about it. he now claims to “hate” women and refuses to trust them.

Rennee Koonin writes brilliantly and honestly about her sexual abuse as a child in this online article. What wrenched my gut were these lines :

” When I recalled that I was sexually abused by my stepfather as a child, I was devastated, but I was, not surprised. When I remembered that my mother had also abused me sexually, my world fell apart. Nothing I believed, none of my work as a social worker, educator and activist had prepared me for this truth. ”

The fact that Men and Women are both not immune to Sexual Abuse, and are also equally capable of being Perpetrators is not hot news straight off the shelf. People are well clued into the fact, especially those who come from joint family backgrounds. A separate essay on joint families and CSA is somewhere on this blog, will post the link when i find it.

Jim Hopper is someone i have worshipped ever since i began working on the issue of Child Sexual Abuse. His essays are thorough and well-researched, in a language that is simple to understand. Here is the Hopper take on what he describes as society’s betrayal of boys“.

In the Indian context, where a lot of children have grown up in joint families, it is unsurprising that 80% of sexual abuse cases fall under Incest.