JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KMOX) – A year long study on how to prevent the sexual abuse of children in Missouri is due out Thursday but KMOX has obtained much of what that report will contain.
South St. Louis County Representative Marsha Haefner tells KMOX that one of the main recommendations will be to change the laws by which abuses are reported, dumping the old chain of command guidelines:
‘What I’d like to change is that the person (who suspects child abuse) is the person that has to do the reporting and can not have retaliation from their employer for doing that report” said Haefner.
The report, to be released in a news conference at the state capitol, will also call for more money for mental health services and for those who interview alleged child abuse victims.
It will also call for more funding for those who interview suspected victims of child abuse and for more funds toward mental health programs.
“We have put mental health on the back burner for so many years” said Representative Haefner, “Missouri has 24 billion dollars to spend and we need to better prioritize were that money is spent.”
The Task Force was authorized during the 2011 legislative session. The group consisted of 14 individuals drawn from several areas of expertise.