Abuse committed by women remains a taboo subject. In countries like the United States, that began to change as more high profile cases hit the news. However, other countries still keep the discussion of the topic to a minimum.
Nigeria is one of those countries. Sexual violence is not something openly discussed or confronted, but this is particularly true when the rapist is female. Cultural stigmas and expectations often lead boys raped by women to rationalize their abuse even as they acknowledge the abusive power dynamic at play.
A recent article on Naij.com covered the issue. Author Aderonke Bello interviewed several men abused by women as children. One man recounted his “abusive relationship” with a 35-year-old woman that began when he was 12-years-old:
Juwon Adeniji was introduced to sex at age 12 by a woman 23 years his senior. She forced him into an abusive relationship which lasted for seven years.
“My cravings for older women cannot stop in this lifetime,” were the words of Juwon Adeniji, “I am married to a woman who is 11 years older than me, I fought a battle with my family members because my wife is older. Anyway, I won. So far, I have been blessed with two healthy boys.”
His parents were never at home to tend to him. He was left in the mercy of their neighbour who took advantage of his parents’ busy schedules to abuse their son. For the years it lasted, they never found out about what was occurring right under their noses. The boy enjoyed the act and got used to it, not realising it was abuse until he became an adult.
“My parents worked from morning till evening. With me being the only child and no one to leave me with in the ancient city of Idanre where my parents worked, our neighbour who was a full housewife offered to take me in when the school bus drops me. Then my parents would pick me from there at the end of each working day (from Monday to Friday). She fed me daily, we would watch Indian films and wrestled together when her husband was not around. I liked her because she cared for me,” he explained.
One of the moment common refrains one hears about female abusers is that they act out of love and compassion and confusion. They are never predatory. It is only their need for companionship that drives them. Keep that opinion in mind as Juwon continues his story: Continue reading