More child abuse calls in less populous Butler County than in Cape County

Thursday, May 1, 2008

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. — Significantly more Butler County children were included in hot line calls of abuse and neglect last year than the higher population Cape Girardeau County, according to the Missouri Department of Social Services

DSS reported almost 860 children in Butler County were involved in hotline calls in fiscal year 2007 compared to nearly 750 in Cape Girardeau County. Respectively, in 2006 the counties had estimated populations of 41,600 and 72,000.

Of those calls, 52 cases were substantiated in Butler County and 53 in Cape Girardeau County.

While the month of April is Child Abuse Prevention month, service programs in Butler and the surrounding counties work year round to intervene before a child is ever harmed.

They do this knowing that every six hours an American child is killed by abuse or neglect and every 35 seconds a child is confirmed as abused or neglected.

Approximately 375 Ripley County children were involved in hotline calls in FY2007, 211 in Wayne County, 125 in Reynolds County and 92 in Carter County. Of those, 17 were substantiated reports in Ripley County, nine in Wayne County, five in Reynolds County and one in Carter County.

Ripley County, with a little more than one-third the population of Butler County, had the highest incidence of hotline calls with approximately one made for every 37 people in the county, compared to one for every 48 people in Butler County and one for every 96 people in Cape Girardeau County.

The phone number for the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hot line is 1-800-392-3738.

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