A new federal study spotted by Pro Publica flips the usual expectations in regard to the sexual abuse of vulnerable youth by authority figures. In this case, it's female guards at juvenile detention facilities preying on young males who have been locked up. The new study by the Justice Department shows the problem is more widespread than you might think—it estimates that 8% of male teens in custody have been abused by female staff, a figure that has held steady for three years.
“When you have an extreme power differential and absolute unchecked power, bad things start happening,” says the leader of the nonprofit Just Detention International. “When you combine this with a culture where sex abuse by females on males isn’t taken seriously, then you have the perfect set-up for women with all this power to get away with it.” Most of the victims say they were drawn into the relationship after the women gave them gifts and special attention, taking advantage of a "motherly" bond the teens may have never experienced in real life. It doesn't bode well for their rehab, says one attorney: They're supposed to be learning about healthy relationships. Instead, they're just getting "more trauma." Click for the full article. (Read more juvenile detention stories.)