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Child Abuse Center Reports Record Numbers for 2008

The Child Advocacy Center, an agency that works with children who have allegedly been abused, served a record number of children in the Ozarks in 2008.KSMU’s Jennifer Moore spoke with the center’s director and has this report.

A total of 836 children came through the center in 2008. That’s 33 more that the previous year.The center’s executive director is Barbara Brown, and she joined me on the phone. Brown said there has been a spike in the cases of child exploitation, particularly in cases involving the internet. Greene county has a higher rate of reporting child abuse than most counties in the state. Brown added that there is a huge cost to a society when a child is abused: they often grow up with issues of lost productivity in the workplace, mental health problems, school behavioral issues, teenage pregnancy, and more.

Of those children who allegedly experienced abuse and were served by the center, over half reside in Greene County. Other counties that saw high numbers of abused children were Howell, Christian, Polk and Webster counties.

For KSMU News, I’m Jennifer Moore.