Rise of sex predator female teachers

Stuff co.nz 26 March 2017
Family First Comment: “This behaviour needs to be recognised for what it is, sexual abuse of a child. It should be viewed exactly the same way as if it’s a male offender and a female victim. It needs to be acknowledged that there is a certain process of grooming involved before the abuse begins. Part of the problem with that stereotype, that the offending isn’t as serious if it’s a female offender and a male victim, means that there’s probably under-reporting of this…. Often it needs to be understood that we do have female offenders in our community and it needs to be taken just as seriously, even if it’s a teenage boy.”

An increase in the number of female teachers being accused of sexual acts against male students could be just the tip of the iceberg, a child protection expert says.

At least seven female teachers have been charged with misconduct or criminal charges in the past three years. This week, a Bay of Plenty teacher, now 39, was charged with misconduct after marrying her former student, who is now 23, after they struck up a friendship while the student was in prison.

But a “romanticised” view of sexual contact between teachers and male students could be leading to severe under-reporting of cases, according to Child Matters spokeswoman Jane Searle.

“I think what people have to be clear about is that there is no Romeo and Juliet romance,” Searle said.

“This behaviour needs to be recognised for what it is, sexual abuse of a child. It should be viewed exactly the same way as if it’s a male offender and a female victim. It needs to be acknowledged that there is a certain process of grooming involved before the abuse begins.

“Part of the problem with that stereotype, that the offending isn’t as serious if it’s a female offender and a male victim, means that there’s probably under-reporting of this.

“Because without that recognition of what that’s doing to the victim and the effects of it, then it’s much less likely that the victims will come forward … so we don’t really know what the true statistics are.”

Searle says the vast majority of teacher-student abuse is committed by male offenders, which perpetuates the myth that female teachers are not abusers.

“Often it needs to be understood that we do have female offenders in our community and it needs to be taken just as seriously, even if it’s a teenage boy.”
READ MORE: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/90761450/rise-of-sexpredator-female-teachers-this-is-no-romeo-and-juliet-romance

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