Boys face higher risk of abuse and sexual violence compared to girls, and less cases are being reported, research says.
The 2016 National Baseline Study on Violence against Children found that one in four children (24.9 percent) in the Philippines suffer from any form of sexual violence, with more boys victimized (28.7 percent) than girls (20.1 percent).
Meanwhile, a global study entitled “Caring for Boys Affected by Sexual Violence,” determined the factors as to why boys experience abuse and violence more than girls do.
These factors include boys’ experiences in school, utilization of media and exposure to pornographic content, influence of peers, their families’ views, cultural definitions and social expectations for boys, among others.
In order to combat such violence and promote awareness and the protection for the wellbeing of boys, the Blue Umbrella Day Campaign was launched earlier in February 2021.
The said campaign, which is also gearing up in India, Paraguay and Guyana, was initiated by the Family for Every Child (FEC), an international alliance of civil organizations working for children’s care, and its member organization in the Philippines, Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Sexual Abuse (CPTCSA).
The Philippine BUD campaign, supported by 12 government agencies and six international NGOs, kicked off with online forums and lecture discussions on psychological needs and topics that highlighted the need to lift the discourse on the empowerment of boys.
“The experiences of boys on abuse and violence have negative consequences on their lives, and the effects can be felt throughout all of society. The time has come for us to look at the realities of boys and do something about it,” Zenaida Rosales, executive director of CPTCSA, said.
The FEC and CPTCSA is looking forward to engage the United Nations to establish the movement into an international day of advocacy for the protection and empowerment of boys worldwide.