Tennessee Christian Artist Shares Story of Sexual Abuse, Encourages Counseling
FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WTVF) – A group has scored multiple number one albums on the Christian charts, won Dove Awards and toured with big names like Taylor Swift and Tim McGraw. Then one of the founding members took two whole years without writing music. He marks his comeback by tackling a very serious subject and sharing his own story.
“When I was very young, I just wanted to create,” said musician Bo Rinehart, sharing an art studio filled with sketches, drawings and paintings. “The floor is just a complete mess. I’m just kinda looking for ideas here.”
Rinehart tells stories through pencils, paints and guitars. He was a founding member of the Grammy-nominated rock band NeedToBreathe. Rinehart left the band in 2020.
“I just wanted to focus on my story and what I wanted to say,” he said.
The man who tells stories in so many ways had a difficult story to tell, one that dates back to his childhood.
“It’s a very taboo thing to talk about,” Rinehart said. “I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, and it started when I was six years old. Some elements of my story are for me. When I was six years old, I went into protective mode. I had developed an ability to darken things and try to escape them any way I could.The medication of alcohol or other addictions was the result of childhood sexual abuse.
“What we know is that one in 10 children will be sexually abused before the age of 18,” said Brent Hutchinson, executive director of the Davis House Child Advocacy Center. “We know that most of the abusers of these children are people they know. About 90% of people who abuse children have that child’s trust. We offer trauma-focused counseling services for children who experience significant trauma. We do that every day.”
As an adult, Rinehart followed counseling with the Onsite Foundation. He says it changed his life.
“The sooner people do this, the better the trajectory of their lives will be,” Rinehart said.
The Button Ball is the biggest fundraiser of the year for Davis House. Rinehart prepared Saturday night in the Green Room to perform at the event, her first performance of her first song as a solo artist.
“The song is about my 6 year old talking to me, having a conversation with me as an adult now,” he said. “We’re going to have to deal with this thing no matter what. That’s my story.”
The single “I’m Right Here” was released under the artist name CoyRoy. He also works as a spokesperson for Davis House.
Written on the wall of Rinehart’s art studio is this: Our darkness does not define us, but we cannot be defined without it.
“This thing that happened that I can’t change doesn’t have to be the end of the story,” Rinehart said. “There is hope and there is a better future. Hopefully we can bring attention to it so it happens a lot less and we can make a difference.”