Child sexual abuse prevention workshop in Jefferson City

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JEFFERSON CITY- According to Missouri KidsFirst, almost one in ten kids will be sexually abused by the time they are 18.

The group is gathering on Monday to discuss how to implement child sexual abuse education in schools for kids 6th grade and up.

In 2011, the General Assembly established the Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Children statute. This statute is led by Missouri KidsFirst and helps direct and guides strategies for how to tackle child abuse in the state of Missouri.

Jessica Seitz, Director of Public Policy at Missouri KidsFirst said change can always be made.

"There is a voice at the state level in Jefferson City that really pushes for a consistent high quality system to respond to child abuse and neglect," Seitz said.

Missouri KidsFirst says that at least one in seven kids have experienced abuse or neglect in the last year. In 2018, over 100,000 kids were reported to the child abuse and neglect hotline. 

Missouri KidsFirst says that sexual abuse can impact kids in every aspect of life.

"Childhood violence increases the risks of injury, sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, mental health problems, delayed cognitive development, reproductive health problems, involvement in sex trafficking, and noncommunicable diseases," Missouri KidsFirst site said.

The group meets with lawmakers throughout the year to address new legislature.

To report a case of child abuse or neglect, call 1-800-392-3738.