#BoysDoCryPH: Blue Umbrella Day campaign gains support from community organizations
The Blue Umbrella Day (BUD) campaign that draws attention to the need to protect boys against sexual abuse is growing as the Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Sexual Abuse (CPTCSA), Family for Every Child (FEC), a global alliance of civil society organisations working to improve the lives of vulnerable children around the world, and Junior Chamber International (JCI)- Alabang Chapter have forged efforts to expand the national and global campaign.
On November 19, 2021 which is also the World Day for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse 2021, the CPTCSA and JCI Alabangwill launch “Blue Cap Culture:#BoysDoCryPH” in collaboration with other JCI members and chapters nationwide.JCI Philippines is a nonprofit organization of young active citizens age 18 to 40 who are engaged and committed to creating positive impact in their communities.
Admore Alzate, founder and project chairperson of Blue Cap Culture movement, said, “There’s an urgent need to counteract the current culture of machismo and other social norms that strangle the voice of boys who are sexually abused.”
Zenaida Rosales, executive director of CPTCSA, welcomed the JCI’s expression of support to the BUD campaign. She said, “The support of JCI to the BUD campaign is an added voice to help amplify the advocacy to encourage parents, schools and communities to prevent sexual abuse on boys and to protect and nurture boys in ways that best support their wellbeing.”
“This also means the BUD campaign is making its impact on individuals and organizations who recognize the urgency of addressing the sexual abuse of boys,” Rosales added. She said the CPTCSA had cases of boy child survivors of sexual abuse as young as five years old.
The JCI Alabang’s Blue Cap Culture movement aims to build awareness on how to better care for boys; lobby for laws for services for sexually abused boys; uphold the rights of abused boys and men; establish a sumbungan hub or hotline for sexually abused boys and men; counteract the machismo culture in the Philippines; assert the roles of every family, institution and community in caring for boys and protect children and men from sexual violence and exploitation.
Under the hashtag #BoysDoCryPH, JCI Alabang enjoins its members and fellow Jaycees to post on social media an official statement expressing support for the Blue Cap Culture movement with photos or videos while wearing the official blue cap. Apart from social media campaigns, the organization will also conduct educational workshops and discussion forums for parents, youth, fathers, and families.
In 2018, the Child Protection Network noted that while sexual victimization in general is underreported, the sexual violence among boys are even more underreported.
In 2016, the National Baseline Survey on Violence against Children found that more male children experienced forced consummated sex in almost all settings, including in schools. More boys experienced unwanted touching and have had their sex videos or photos taken without their consent. The commonly cited perpetrators of male child sexual abuse: cousin, brother and father.
The CPTCSA said that even if this is happening in ordinary situations, only a few are reported, and it’s because of Filipino social norms that boys cannot be raped, boys are strong or siga, and the overall machismo culture.
Experts say there are not enough systems of care from a public health perspective and from the government; it is given attention but not given as much priority as it could. Boys and men should be included in provision of services meant for them.
In April 2021 , the CPTCSA and FEC launched the International BUD campaign to call attention to the truth about boys and to encourage parents, communities and societies to protect boys. The campaign hopes to engage the United Nations into adopting the movement into an international day of advocacy.
The CPTCSA is currently working with the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Council (JJWC) in advancing the advocacy to put more attention to the boy child through an ongoing public campaign and research in developing standards of providing interventions for boys.