Abuse and Maltreatment is a Human Problem

September 13, 2020

by Sean Kullman

Abuse is a Boy Problem Too

There have been a few articles in the last two months regarding the rape of boys by women. Although these articles do not generally make it to the mainstream media, they are an important part of increasing the male narrative in the public discourse, and bringing them to the attention of others helps expand that reach.

Additionally, GIBM has reached out to columnists to encourage them to start using the appropriate language when females are the perpetrators and males are the victims of rape. In the case of 65-year-old Sharilyn Whittaker, the sentence "Whittaker committed the act of sexual penetration upon a male minor" was used to seemingly describe the rape of a 15-year-old boy. Instead, we have encouraged columnists and others to use the term forced envelopment to more accurately describe rape when the female is the perpetrator and the male the victim. In the Whittaker case, the language might suggest the male was penetrated, which is possible, but the vagueness creates challenges. The language may seem like a subtle difference, but it's tremendously important to distinguish forced penetration from forced envelopment and insist upon its use in laws. In 2018, Samantha Ray Mears was not charged with rape when she used a machete to force herself onto her ex-boyfriend. Forced envelopment is not part of many sexual assault laws and (if I remember correctly) the reason Mears was charged with aggravated burglary and assault with a weapon but not additionally the crime of rape.

Figure 1. Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau. (2020). Child Maltreatment 2018.

Parental Maltreatment and the Importance of Data

In the same vein, GIBM recently released a new meme on Twitter from data collected by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. The purpose of the meme is to bring attention to the dangers of not acknowledging the larger social context of abuse and maltreatment that impacts women and girls as well. By recognizing girls, women, boys, and men are also victims of abuse and maltreatment at the hands of mothers and women too, we come to a deeper understanding of the aspects of the human condition not relegated to one sex. It's this recognition that brings us closer together and helps us support those who truly need it, regardless of their sex.

GIBM intends to improve the Male Narrative in the Public Discourse and continue to bring to light the need to dramatically improve private and public support for boys and men and the women who love them.

Ways to donate to the Global Initiative for Boys and Men

  • Credit Card Donation through Pay Pal and Donorbox

  • Amazon Smiles: List Global Initiative for Boys and Men as your charity of choice and a percentage of all purchases will support the GIBM.

  • Mail checks to Global Initiative for Boys and Men, Mailbox 337, 685 Spring St., Friday Harbor, WA 98250