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Experts say Child Abuse is Steadily Increasing in MS

Experts say Child Abuse is Steadily Increasing in MS

Experts say Child Abuse is Steadily Increasing in Mississippi
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Karla Tye is with Children's Advocacy Centers of Mississippi
Jasmine Ellis

Experts in Mississippi say they are seeing a steady increase of children being abused. MPB's Jasmine Ellis reports on what's being done to help children in the state.

There were about 48,000 reports of child abuse in Mississippi last year. That's according to Tonya Rogillio. She is with the Department of Child Protection Services. She says the department always tries to keep the child in the home if possible.

"Typically we receive an allegation, we do an investigation, we may identify and substantiate that a child is abused or neglected," said Rogillio. "But we still attempt work with that family to maintain that children in that home."

According to the Centers for Disease Control at least one in seven children have experienced child abuse and neglect in the past year.

Rogillio says there was evidence of abuse, neglect, or exploitation found in 11,000 of the child abuse cases reported last year.

"When we say exploited it's typically where children are used for financial gain or the most egregious and most serious form of exploitation is human trafficking," said Rogillio.

There are signs of abuse that adults can look for in children says Karla Tye. She is executive director of the Children's Advocacy Centers of Mississippi.

"You may have a child who has a drastic change of behavior or that they suddenly don't want to go into an environment where they've once been comfortable," said Tye. "You may also want to be looking does a child have unexplained gifts that they've been given from another adult."

Tye says they're encouraging universities and colleges across Mississippi to develop programs to be able to identify the signs and symptoms of child abuse.