WILLIAMSON CO., Tenn. (WKRN) — More and more women in positions of authority have been arrested for sex crimes against children. They’re often portrayed as having a relationship with the victim, but that is simply not the case.
The executive director of Davis House Child Advocacy Center, Brent Hutchison, said society’s perception needs to change in order to do a better job of protecting children.
“We change our words around gender when it comes to those sorts of things.” He said for instance, “We hear about stories of male teachers sexually assaulting female students. But when we hear about female teachers doing the same sort of thing, it’s ‘female teacher has relationship with 17-year-old student’. Well, that is not a relationship. A teacher can’t have a relationship with a minor. That is called sexual abuse, sexual assault, rape.”
There’s no one-size fits all profile when it comes to those with pedophilia, which is labeled as a disorder not a disease in the Psychiatry’s Diagnostic Manual.
The Department of Justices notes child sexual abuse is perpetrated by a wide range of individuals with diverse motivations.
“We’ve got to level the playing field and the way we think about the way men or women approach these sorts of cases. I think the bottom line really is a lot about control and gratification.”
Hutchison continued, “People who are perpetrators, they lie and manipulate. They do that to get into positions where they have access to children.”
He explained studies show 10% of children are sexually abused in some way before they turn 18-years-old.
“If you look at a county like Williamson County, who has about 60,000 kids in our schools and do the math, that’s about 6,000 kids sexually abused in some way before they’re 18-years-old,” he said.
He stressed not everyone who works with children has bad intentions. It’s quite the opposite. “But the reality is, we’ve turned far too many blind eyes to the facts. And the facts are that a number of children around us are being abused. In a classroom of 30 kids, on average, three of those kids are going to be abused in some way,” Hutchison said.
As a community, he said we must do more to learn the warning signs and speak up to protect.
People in positions of authority are preying on Tennessee children. News 2 investigates the disturbing trend and shares important information that parents need to know in our special reports Position of Authority.