McLean County is seeing a surge in suspected child sex abuse cases this year. So far this year child advocates in McLean County say they have conducted 43% more interviews of suspected child sex abuse victims than last year. Statewide, the figure among child advocacy centers is up 12.7%. Judy Brucker of the Mclean County Child Protection Network says the poor economy may be a reason for the multi-year trend that has accelerated from January to April.
Brucker says the sources of the suspected abuse bear that out.
Another factor, according to Billie Larkin, the director of the Children's Advocacy Centers of Illinois is the publicity over the Jerry Sandusky case at Penn State University which may be making people more aware of such issues and more willing to report them. Brucker is not sure why numbers in McLean County are so much higher than the increase statewide. Larkin says the centers are releasing statistics to counter recent claims that incidents of child abuse and neglect in the state are falling.
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