NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Society seems to think of girls when you hear of teens being sexually assaulted. But, it’s happening to boys, and investigators said more than we realize.
In Clarksville, assistant principal and athletic director Gary Chadwell was recently arrested and charged in connection with the alleged rape of a teen boy.
Sumner County investigators said Carrie Norman, a former elementary school teacher, offered money to a 16-year-old boy in exchange for sex.
Caleb Bullock, a Hendersonville teacher and church youth leader, pleaded guilty to five counts of sexual battery of a 17-year-old boy.
Melissa Blair, a McMinn County booster club mom, faces 23 charges, 18 of which are for aggravated statutory rape of teen boys.
Investigators said parents of boys need to be aware of this threat and society must stop victim-shaming them.
School is where our children spend most of their day without us with people that we trust.
“I think a big misconception, when it comes to teachers and coaches and school staff, is that if they are an employee of a school, they must be safe,” said Deanna Darden-Carroll, Director of Services for Davis House Child Advocacy Center.
The center serves children who are dealing with sexual or physical abuse and their families.
Darden-Carroll explained people with authority, given the opportunity, are preying on teens.
Plus, people are often unaware of the vulnerability of boys to sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape.
Lindsey Honea, a child forensic interviewer with David House, said, “For males, the society says if you’re like a preteen or teenage male, then there’s no way that you are abused, especially if the abuser is a female.”
Honea continued, “It’s seen as some kind of conquer.”
Young men are often portrayed in movies as focused on sex and in real life are told to respect girls.
Rarely are they taught their bodies should be respected too.
When assaults happen, the social stigmas make it more difficult for boys to speak up.
Honea said, “All of that stuff is in their head and affects whether or not they’re even going to tell you what’s happened to them, or how they portray what has happened to them.”
Research shows teen boys are in fact highly impacted by sexual abuse.
“Our studies show that the males are just as, if not more, affected by the abuse perpetrated on them than females are,” said Honea.
Another reoccurring falsehood, it’s physically impossible to force a boy to have unwanted sex.
Darden-Carroll explained, “Our bodies were created for those areas, to respond to touch, to respond to stimulation. Even if he does not want to – that’s how people can be raped.”
Another disturbing societal theme can be seen on social media in the comment section where some people think male teens shouldn’t have let it happen to them.
“It is so easy for somebody to sit back and go, ‘well, if that happened to me, I can tell you what I would do.’ You don’t!” exclaimed Darden-Carroll.
Both encourage parents to take the time to talk to your boys, and also believe them if they disclose abuse.
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.