Child Abuse | St. Louis Public Radio

Child Abuse

Calls To Illinois' Child Abuse Hotline Dropped Nearly 50% Amid Coronavirus Spread

Mar 25, 2020
The rate of emergency room admissions for child sex abuse in the U.S. nearly doubled between 2010 and 2016, according to research from Saint Louis University.
Maria Fabrizio | NPR

With schools, day care centers and preschools around Illinois shut down as part of statewide efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus, calls to the Department of Children and Family Services’ abuse and neglect hotline have dropped dramatically over the past week.

But child welfare experts and others don’t believe this decline reflects a decrease in abuse; on the contrary, many fear that children are now at a greater risk of being hurt as families, many facing additional stress over work and health issues, hunker down in isolation.

Because children aren’t in school or child care, the teachers, social workers and counselors most likely to spot signs of abuse and who are required by state law to report those allegations can’t.

The rate of emergency room admissions for child sex abuse in the U.S. nearly doubled between 2010 and 2016, according to research from Saint Louis University.
Maria Fabrizio | NPR

Children who have suffered sexual abuse are now going to the ER at much higher rates compared to a decade ago, according to research from St. Louis University. 

The national rate of ER admissions for child sex abuse nearly doubled between 2010 and 2016. At the same time, cases of confirmed child sex abuse in the U.S. have been declining since the 1990s, according to data from the National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect. 

Jerry Dunn (left) and Linda McQuary (right) talked about how to spot, treat and prevent sexual abuse.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

Last year, the Children’s Advocacy Center of Greater St. Louis at the University of Missouri - St. Louis, interviewed about 700 child victims of sexual abuse. They found that about 90 percent of the perpetrators were someone the child liked, loved or lived with.

DiAnne Mueller, the Chief Executive Officer of the Saint Louis Crisis Nursery.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, we discussed the prevention of child abuse in the St. Louis region with DiAnne Mueller, the Chief Executive Officer of the Saint Louis Crisis Nursery

The organization provides emergecy intervention, respite care and family support. The five nurseries and nine outreach centers under the Saint Louis Crisis Nursery umbrella serve more than 6,800 children every year. Over the past 31 years, they’ve served over 110,000 children.

St. Charles County focuses on reducing child abuse, neglect

Apr 18, 2017
Pinwheels for child abuse victims in St. Charles County. April 18, 2017.
Marie Schwarz | St. Louis Public Radio

In St. Charles County, 181 children in were abused and neglected last year. Those were the reported cases. At least one study has found that one in four children suffer some form of abuse or neglect in their lifetimes.

St. Louis Agencies Rally To Prevent Child Abuse

Apr 9, 2014
via the Child Abuse Prevention Facebook page

Thirty-four children died in the state of Missouri in 2012 due to child abuse and neglect. Seven of them were in St. Louis. All told, more than 13,000 reports of abuse and neglect involving almost 20,000 children were filed in the St. Louis region in 2012. About 900 of those reports were proven to be substantiated, with almost 50 percent of the cases receiving some sort of services.

Neglect And Abuse Kills 90 Children In Ill. During 2012

Jan 11, 2013
(via Flickr/janineomg)

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services says neglect and abuse killed 90 children in the state last year and almost half were infants who died in unsafe sleeping conditions.

Department spokesman Dave Clarkin said yesterday the total could rise. More than 60 death investigations are still pending from 2012. Clarkin says 40 of the children were infants who suffocated while sleeping with parents, with blankets or on their stomachs. All of those practices are dangerous.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

A task force has released its recommendations on combatting sexual abuse of children in Missouri.

There are 22 recommendations in all.  They include requiring people who are legally obligated to report sex abuse incidents to directly contact the state’s Children’s Division, instead of just reporting incidents to superiors within their own organizations.  That particular recommendation will be sponsored by State Representative Marsha Haefner (R, Oakville).

Report: Child Sex Abuse Cases Up In Downstate Ill.

Dec 28, 2012
(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.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

A Belleville, Ill. man arrested as part of Attorney General Lisa Madigan's crackdown on child pornography last year will spend more than a dozen years in federal prison for his crimes.

Garold Lee Semelka, 62, pleaded guilty in June to receiving and possessing child pornography. His computer contained more than 600 images or videos of minors engaging in sexually explicit activity.

Morning headlines: Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Sep 4, 2012
(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Legal fight between Quinn and Union continues

The legal fight between Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and the union that represents prisons workers continues this week.

Quinn had wanted the prisons closed by last Friday. Instead that day an arbitrator said the administration violated its contract with the prison workers' union by moving to close the facilities before they'd finished what's called "impact bargaining."

Union spokesman Anders Lindall says impact bargaining doesn't only affect employees facing layoffs.

Graphics: the child workforce in 1920 America

Aug 17, 2012

Another fascinating graphic and exploration from the Planet Money team. Check it out via the link.

Morning headlines: Sunday, July 8, 2012

Jul 8, 2012
(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Early drought exacting a toll on regional corn farmers

Extreme heat and drought are driving down what many farmers expected to be a bumper corn crop.  

Back in March and April, warm weather had Midwestern farmers planting corn at a record setting pace.

In Illinois alone, an estimated more than 13 million acres of corn were planted this year.  

Now, many growers are in full on damage control as record setting heat continues to drive down expected yields.

Morning headlines: Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mar 7, 2012
UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Child abusers could face tougher penalties under Mo. legislation

People who injure or kill a baby by shaking the child could face tougher penalties under legislation moving through the Missouri House. The House has endorsed a measure expanding Missouri's child abuse law to specifically cover causing a baby's death or injury by shaking.

This article firs appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 24, 2012 - A Yale University researcher is pointing to the national campaign to prevent sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, as an example of what needs to be done to reduce the number of youngsters being hospitalized for abuse-related injuries ranging from fractured bones to head trauma.

(Official Portrait, Missouri Attorney General's office)

Attorney General Chris Koster (D) wants Missouri lawmakers to beef up state law regarding child sexual abuse, in light of the scandal currently surrounding Penn State University.

Koster says right now in Missouri, only teachers, doctors, clergy and certain other professions are required to report child sex abuse to the authorities.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Ill. Attorney General Lisa Madigan says a year-long effort to target the top 25 consumers of child pornography in Illinois has been a success.

Two Belleville men - 61-year-old Garold Lee Semelka and Mike G. Telkamp, 48, were the 25th and 26th men arrested under Operation Glass House, the anti-child pornography initiative Madigan launched in August 2010.

(via Flickr/steakpinball)

The former owner of a St. Louis County video gaming business has been sentenced to 3,480 months in prison on federal child pornography charges - that's 290 years for those of you doing the math - according to an announcement from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The sentence imposed on 43-year-old Leland Beasley is the "largest sentence ever imposed in the Eastern District of Missouri" according to the announcement.

The announcement states that at his jury trial in April Beasley was found guilty of:

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 17, 2011 - The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting in Seattle today approved a slight tightening of its 2002 Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, commonly called the Dallas Charter.

The nearly 200 voting bishops approved changes so the charter now specifically names child pornography as a crime against church law. The tweaking of the charter also outlaws the abuse of someone who habitually lacks reason, a person with mental retardation, for example. The charter now equates that with child abuse.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 12, 2010 - When St. Louis attorney Tracy Ring was 8 years old, his world fell apart when his parents divorced. Going back and forth between mom's and dad's houses amid their frequent bickering, the once outgoing, 'A' and 'B' student began to falter in school and withdraw from friends.

"Not only did my parents not live together; they couldn't even get along together," Ring said.