Child abuse reports up in downstate Ill. - Wandtv.com, NewsCenter17, StormCenter17, Central Illinois News-

Child abuse reports up in downstate Ill.

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DECATUR -- Reports of child abuse and neglect are up in Central Illinois.

According to a new report from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, the number of kids reported as abused or neglected in downstate Illinois is up 5.4%.

Logan County is ranked ninth in the state with 259 reports of child abuse or neglect per 10,000 children. That's nearly three times the state average of 91 indicated cases per 10,000 children.

In Macon County the Child Advocacy Center told WAND they've seen more reports of physical abuse and neglect this year.

However, Macon County Child Advocacy Center Executive Director Jean Moore said it could mean people are getting better at reporting child abuse.

"We're not sure... if it's just that we're doing a really good job of public awareness and getting information out to people about when and how to make reports, or if it's a combination of the factors because obviously abuse and neglect has always been around," said Moore.

Child advocates say signs of child abuse aren't always visible with a scratch or a bruise. Moore said kids' behavior or demeanor will change.

To find how to recognize those signs, check out the Child Welfare link posted under Sitewatch.

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