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6:45 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Report: Child Sex Abuse Cases Up In Downstate Ill.

Credit (via Wikimedia Commons/J. Pelkonen)

The Illinois Dept. of Children and Family Services says family members are failing to report cases of sexual abuse. That assertion came Thursday in a report that says child sex abuse cases are up in Downstate Illinois.

DCFS says more than half of the people reported for child sex abuse were related to the victim. But the vast majority of those reports came not from family members, but professionals who are required by law to report abuse.

Dave Clarkin, a spokesman for DCFS, says reported child sexual abuse cases are up to six percent outside Cook County, and that's not because more cases are being reported.

"And part of the reason is that the vast majority of the reports that we see, receive, are from trained professionals in law enforcement, in social services, in education, who are using the same standards across the state that they've been using for years," said Clarkin.

DCFS wants $40 million from the Ill. General Assembly, nearly half of what was cut from its budget for the current fiscal year. Clarkin says that money would help the agency reorganize, and put more employees into investigative roles.