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Philippine Journal of Child Sexual Abuse – Volume 11, 2022
Developing effective services to meet the needs of boys who have been sexually
abused: A literature review
Renz Argao, Ph.D., and Lois J. Engelbrecht, Ph.D.
In the Philippines, research shows that boys are sexually abused as much as girls and abused in general more than girls (UNICEF Council for the Welfare of Children, 2016) states that the prevalence of experience of violence among boys is at 81.5%. While there is a high prevalence of abuse cases involving boys, there does not appear to be much attention given to study the impact of abuse, the interventions provided to boys, or on the special or focused needs of boys (Alaggia & Millington, 2008; Willis, et al., 2014). A groundbreaking study in the Philippines documented the shared needs stated by boys who were not sexually abused, boys who had been sexually abused, and young men incarcerated for sexually abuse (Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Sexual Abuse and Family for Every Child, 2017). While the paper was meant to seek prevention strategies, it did also highlight the lack of abuse‐focused services to sexually abused boys and young men incarcerated for sexual offences. The Philippines research shows that boys are sexually abused at the same rate as girls, however it is important to note that more girls report abuse and then receive help. This suggests we need to better understand why boys don’t seek help and whether the perception reported by boys that when they do report, they do not get the same services as their female counterparts. In order to understand services to boys, we need to undertake an in‐depth audit of relevant research and present services that in any way deal with males and sexual abuse. To design and prepare a tool to audit, we need to first understand what services are needed for our boys who are sexually abused to report and get help through a careful literature review.