Number of sexual assaults on kids higher than years past

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MESA COUNTY, Colo. (KKCO) Officials with the Western Slope Center for Children say one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually assaulted before their eighteenth birthday.

2013 is shaping up to be one of the worst we've seen in awhile when it comes to sexual abuse of children; it's only October and the number of children the center has served has already eclipsed the numbers from all of last year.

"At the end of September we were one shy of the total number of children that we saw in all of 2012," says executive director of the Western Slope Center for Children Shari Zen, and she expects to see as many as 350 kids by the end of 2013.

Zen says there could be several explanations to the increased number of reports... more assaults, more kids coming forward or even more adults reporting their suspicions.

There are red flags to look for - possible signs of sexual abuse - including bruising, sudden behavioral changes, dropping grades and a lack of interest in spending time with friends.

To report suspected child abuse, call the Child Protection Hotline, 970-242-1211 or call 911.

When you call to report a suspected case of child/sexual abuse, please provide as much of the following information as you can:
- The child's name (if unknown, provide a description)
- The child's age (if unknown, give an approximate age range)
- The address (or where the child can be found)
- The abuser's name (if known)
- Abuser's relationship to the child
- Type of abuse suspected
- Where the abuse is happening or has happened
- Names of the child's parents or guardians
- Your past knowledge of the abuse
- Other witnesses
- Your relationship to the child
- Any other pertinent information
- Mandated reporters are people who are required to report suspected abuse.

Reporting child abuse is an important step toward stopping it.
All reports remain anonymous.

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