Several southern Ill. counties have 2 times state average of sex - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Several southern Ill. counties have 2 times state average of sex abuse

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(KFVS) -

A new report from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services shows a 6 percent increase in reports of sex abuse across the 101 Illinois counties outside of Cook.

The report compares allegations of sex abuse from July 1, 2012 through November 30, 2012 to the same period last year.

According to DCFS, 67 downstate counties already had higher than average sex abuse rates last year, including 24 counties in Central and Southern Illinois where the rate of sexual abuse of children was more than twice the state average.

"The high rate of sex abuse in downstate Illinois, particularly Central and Southern Illinois, is rising even further this year," said Dave Clarkin, DCFS Spokesperson. "We are implementing a reorganization plan that increases the number of abuse investigators at DCFS so that we can get children and families the help they need more quickly, and we hope lawmakers will fund that plan in early January."

Southern Illinois counties with sex abuse rates of more than twice the state average last fiscal year (7 victims per 10,000 children; July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012) include: Alexander, Clay, Hardin, Johnson, Massac, Perry, Richland, Saline, Wabash, Wayne, White.

Potential signs of sexual abuse:

  • A sudden change in behavior or personality, including regressing to earlier behaviors such as bed-wetting or thumb-sucking, nightmares or difficulty sleeping;
  • Depression, anxiety, or withdrawal from family, friends or activities;
  • Aggressiveness, school problems or self-destructive behavior such as cutting themselves, eating disorders, alcohol or drug use;
  • Acting out sexually or showing sexual knowledge that is not age appropriate;
  • An older, more dominant child, teenager and/or an adult who seems to want to spend time alone with your child.

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