Posted June 16, 2019 from Nigeria

Happy fathers' day to all fathers, potential fathers and all men out there. You are awesome and amazing. You all try so hard to ensure that the family is fine. We are grateful for the gift of you as fathers, husbands, uncles, cousins, nephews, brothers, boyfriends and friends.

Dear future husband, this is to remind you that you are great and will always thrive. You are the palm tree that flourishes always because it knows no season. You are the cedar! You prosper in all you do and you fulfill your purpose just as you find clarity to it daily. I don't know you yet but prayers like this work!

I'd have loved to discuss my father today but due to the 90 days challenge, I'd discuss sexual assault and men! Yes, men are assaulted too. Studies show that 1 in 6 men have experienced child sexual abuse while 1 in 20 men will experience sexual abuse in their lifetime. How does sexual assault happen to men? How ridiculous! But men are supposed to be strong! Men can't be raped due to their biological make-up! Men are mostly the perpetrators of sexual violence of women and girls, so, why would they experience it?

Sexual assault is done without the consent of the other person. When consent is not involved, assault takes place. Consent is not maybe. It's not assumption. It's not taking advantage of him because he has given consent before. It's not assaulting him because he is a man who would like it. It's not used as a means of proving his masculinity or maleness. Consent is saying yes to sexual advances sanely. You are not incapacitated or impaired as a man. You know you want sex and you have it!

I saw a tweet last week where a Nigerian woman had sex with the man she loved just because of her insecurities. She was scared that the man would leave her for another woman although they were dating. That fear prompted her to have sex with him while he was sleeping! She became pregnant and tied the knot quickly in holy matrimony! What do you say in this situation? That couldn't have been rape because he would have agreed to that if he wasn't asleep? Hilarious! What if the fiance had sex with her while she was sleeping just to impregnate her because she was getting a lot of attention from men? You'd call that sexual assault?

Men are assaulted! Most men who become perpetrators of domestic, emotional or sexual violence in relationships or marriage experienced such violence while growing up while some saw it as a means to being in control because their fathers beat up their mothers to get what they want; use threats and demeaning words to show power or have sex with their mothers violently or forcefully just to demonstrate  dominance! Whatever the case may be, most perpetrators of today were victims yesterday. Hence, the need to educate the men to end the cycle. Yes, the trend.

I started an erotic novel early this year. The author couldn't include their name because of the nature of the book-- too exotic!  This book is about a boy who was introduced to sex by his female tutor. The book reveals how a boy of 8 years has sex with his two sisters, tutor, uncle's wife, uncle's wife's friend and the story continues like that. My point is, the boy was just 8 and couldn't have given consent. Hence, he was assaulted by his tutor. That incidence makes him become a pervert. He started having sex with anything in skirt. This is how experience turns men to perpetrators because they themselves at a point have been victims.

Men go through sexual assault from men and women. It could be older women taking advantage of them or older men using it as a way to show power, control or a means of punishing. It could also be from their peers. However it is, men are abused, sexually. However, most abused men can't even come out to tell their stories because the society believes men can't be abused. How pathetic! The society believes that a man who is abused is weak. They believe a man should have sex because he is a man. Hence, when a guy has sex without his consent, he can't speak out even when he doubts himself, sexuality, gender identity and the likes especially when he's abused by a male.

I met a friend two years ago who discussed how much he loved his girlfriend at that time. His girlfriend didn't want sex and he concurred. But one day, he visited the girlfriend unannounced and met her with his best friend having sex! This is not a story I read from a book or a tweet I read. This happened to a friend of mine! This guy was shockingly surprised! He thought she didn't want to have sex until marriage. He was disappointed and his world was shattered. Due to anger, pain, bitterness and whatchamacallit, he started having sex with girls with or without consent.

I met this guy last year and he told me his own story as well. He was a corp member when he met the lady he loved. He did all he could to get this lady's attention but the lady pretended to be blind to the signs and deaf to the song his heart sang. He actually loved her but the girl was proving hard to get which the guy thought was normal. On her birthday, he sent a surprise package and spent all he had on her just to show his love to her. My friend travelled all the way to Kaduna early that day to see the love of his life. Unfortunately for him, he couldn't reach the girl. While waiting for the girl, one of the neighbours who had been watching him for a while interrogated him and there, the guy dropped the bomb. The guy was frustrated and disappointed! His friends had told him the same thing before but he didn't listen. Even some friends told him that they've had sex with her before but he wouldn't listen at camp. This act prompted the man to start having sex with ladies incapacitated or impaired.

I have this story of a friend too who started having sex with or without consent just because the lady he loved so much left him due to a random stuff her friends told her about him. 'Till today, he still bleeds. He asks, 'Have you ever loved someone so much that you could choose them over family?... I loved her! Now, I don't think I can feel that way again. I can't! Never. I could do anything for her...'.

All these experiences contribute to men hurting ladies! Also, most men assault women and girls because they've been hurt as well by ladies that mattered so much to them as seen in the above examples. Do you now see that sexual assault is about anger, violence and control not sexual attraction or something? It's abusing a girl because you are bitter and angry about what another or same girl did to you which in no way is related to sexual attraction or pleasure!

Dear men, boys, women and girls, continuing the cycle leads to more problems in the world. When you assault a lady, the lady also might assault another man and the man would assault another and the cycle has no end! It's sad we all go through one thing or the other in our lives, however, it's sadder if we don't heal. It's sadder if we hurt a ten thousand because ten of us are victims!.. Heal the world. But before then, you first!

This story was submitted in response to International Widows' Day.

Comments 10

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Jill Langhus
Jun 17, 2019
Jun 17, 2019

Hi Latoria,

Thanks for sharing your informative post about men, boys and abuse. I quite agree that it's a vicious cycle that needs to end and it's undoubtedly a pattern of anger, violence and control. Together we can work on a better future, though, for humanity.

Hope you're having a good day!

Karen Quiñones-Axalan
Jun 17, 2019
Jun 17, 2019

Hello, Latoria,

Wow, you have a lot of male friends who got their hearts broken and avenged other women through sex in return.

It’s quite dangerous to have numerous sexual activities esp that HIV and sexually-transmitted diseases are prevalent. Sex education is really important, while we teach the youth about it, we also tell them sex is not an act for revenge.

Thank you for sharing your post for your 90 Day Challenge. Happy Father’s Day to your dad!

Jun 18, 2019
Jun 18, 2019

Thanks for the post also on father's day. We do wish all responsible father belated father's day.

Anita Shrestha
Oct 11, 2019
Oct 11, 2019

Dear Latoria
Thank you very much, keep it continue

Nov 25, 2019
Nov 25, 2019

Together we speak and we will keep fighting this enemy. Its not only women but boys also suffer same. Thanks for shearing.

Nene Nkengla
Feb 09
Feb 09

This is very true. We should continue to fight violence against any human. Thanks for sharing this great piece

laison sylvie
Feb 09
Feb 09

Thank you dear Latoria for such beautiful insights

Felicitas Wung
Feb 11
Feb 11

Yes Latoria. It is true that when someone is abused, he/she tends to abuse someother person out of anger and that's how the cycle continues.
This doesn't bring an end to violence. Two wrongs will never make things to be right.
Let's fight against violence.

Marie Abanga
Feb 13
Feb 13

Hello Latoria,

Thanks for sharing. Indeed you nail it with this: "sexual assault is about anger, violence and control not sexual attraction or something". Although I will also agree with you that it is sometimes 'hurt people who hurt' others. This indicates a need to resolve issues no matter how heart breaking they may be, so that anger and hurt and pain an guilt and the urge to revenge don't stay with the person.
Keep writing and raising awareness dear

Feb 13
Feb 13

Hi Latoria!
Thanks for sharing this educative piece on sexual assault. pray we read and educate others. Stay blessed.