Despite being in the 21st Century, Sexual and Gender Based Violence(SGBV) is still common in our society. If you, the reader, are like most people, immediately you read that, you will automatically substitute the idea of “SGBV” with “SGBV against women and girls.” So if you are male, you will most probably not even go through this article because it doesn’t concern you. Some females might also not care about the whole SGBV “charade” because “unspeakable” things like rape, attempted rape, dating violence, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation only happen to other people. They don’t happen to you and in our minds – some of us have this idea that such things could not possibly happen to us – so, why care?
SGBV concerns everyone. It may interest or shock you to know that SGBV also does happen against men – and it’s not pretty. It may also concern you that SGBV does happen in campus. It’s happening around us. Maybe it has happened against your classmate, against your brother, against your girlfriend or against your boyfriend. The point is: only the worst of fools will choose not to care and not to take the necessary measures to stop SGBV.
Before we proceed with our discussion, here’s a statement from the Sports, Security and Entertainment Secretary in DeKUT, Mr. Kihonge Kagiri on SGBV:
Thousands of years ago, control and power was mostly gained through physical violence and maintained with brute strength. There was little need for subtlety. Kings or emperors had to be merciless.
But now is the time for democracy: The old is gone now we embrace technology. The old rhetorics and myths about FGM and SGBV have been exposed and discredited. We must now take the advantage of this fact to ensure that killings, rape, sodomy; emotional, mental and physical abuse and other forms of SGBV are a thing of the past, so as to be apologetic to those who underwent such inhuman experiences.
The #16DaysofActivism against SGBV is already underway. As the comradeship fraternity we are in this fully and remain as champions of the SGBV-free world”
– Kihonge Kagiri
As Comrade Kagiri has shown us, it’s as simple as taking a stand. Take a stand.
Where were we? Men and SGBV – that’s where. First, even though not as common, SGBV does happen against men, especially in such optimal conditions as prison; where men are forced into sexual intercourse involving the mouth and anus. More commonly, it could happen in a robbery. There have been reports of men and boys being forced to watch or participate in the sexual assault of their daughters, wives and other family members. I know – it’s ugly… it has terrible effects on the victims and I want you to hold that thought.
As men, we’ve gotten so used to hearing things such as “rape” happen against women that gradually, the significance of such a word as rape has become lost on us. So unconsciously and to a disturbing extent, the concept of rape against women has become somewhat normal… it has become somewhat okay. Yet rape, against anyone, is the farthest thing from okay that there is in the world. SGBV such as rape is a horror – there’s no word bad enough to describe it. To be convinced of that fact, you only have to imagine yourself as a man being a victim of the horrible and monstrous scenarios we’ve described in the previous paragraph.
Why are we focusing on men?
Because we, men, are the chief perpetrators of this whole SGBV horror. We are the chief perpetrators of rape, attempted rape, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, forced early marriages, domestic violence, dating violence, trafficking and female genital mutilation against our mothers, sisters and daughters.
We, men in campus, are raping drunk girls. We are stalking girls like serial killers in the name of “You and I are meant to be” and other such crap. We are attempting to rape girls and leaving deep mental and emotional scars that would take miracles to heal. We’re hitting and verbally abusing the girls we are dating and making them believe they deserve it. And yet, if your sister went through an attempted rape and you were forced to watch her disintegrate and die inside with shame and self disgust, you would be there angrily demanding to know the identity of the perpetrator to seek for justice. What a bunch of hypocrites we men are, right?
Because if we really cared about our sisters, our mothers, our girlfriends and future wives, our daughters; we would be on the forefront in fighting the SGBV menace and ending it before we become victims or worse still, are forced to watch the ones we love becoming victims. We would speak out against our friends. We would learn more about SGBV with the aim of preventing and stopping it. At the very least, we would share such an article or participate in the campaign to spread awareness against SGBV.
If for no other reason, let’s do it for our mothers. Because it has gotten so bad that to feel safe, some girls are doing this, “Today I wore a pair of faded old jeans and a plain grey baggy shirt. I hadn’t even taken a shower, and I did not put on an ounce of makeup. I grabbed a worn out black oversized jacket to cover myself with even though it is warm outside. I have made conscious decisions lately to look like less of what I felt a male would want to see. I want to disappear.”
If you care, share as widely as you can. Your effort might just help you save someone you care about