JOPLIN, MO-- A local children advocacy center reported even more kids came through their doors in the last year. In the last 12 months, the Children's Center of Southwest Missouri helped 1,038 children - with services ranging from allegations of abuse and neglect to sexual molestation or a witness to a crime. That's up from 898 the year before. Local police say the problem needs to be tackled through different agencies working together.
Joplin Police Lt. Brian Lewis said, "It's more than just a law enforcement function. It has be to community wide. We have mandated reporters that are in schools and medical facilities and things of that nature that have to be involved in the process as well."
754 of the kids seen by the Children's Center were under the age of 13. And of those - more than half were six and under.