Child abuse and neglect cases increase dramatically across the metro

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Child abuse and endangerment charges filed Tuesday against Jamaal McDaniels are the latest in a long list of recent child abuse cases.

Child abuse experts are not surprised.

They say the number of cases of child abuse and neglect are increasing in the metro area.

Lois Rice is Executive Director of Johnson County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). She was not shocked that McDaniels, 25, is accused of abuse that left his 7-week-old son with a broken leg, head trauma and cracked ribs.

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"Unfortunately we see this kind of abuse all too often," Rice said.

According to the latest statistics, child abuse and neglect in Johnson County is up 40 percent from 2008 to 2012.

Wyandotte County child abuse and neglect saw a 38 percent increase from 2008 to 2012.

The number of child abuse and neglect cases in Jackson County Family Court saw a 10 percent jump from 2011 to 2012.

Rice said part of the problem is the economy.

"When the economy suffers there is more child abuse," Rice explained. "When people feel badly about themselves, they tend to take it out sometimes on the most vulnerable family member."

The child abuse expert suggested several possible solutions.

"Give your time and money to organizations that help children and families in poverty and crisis," Rice suggested.

She also recommended contacting legislators to get them to reinstate funding to organizations that help children and families in poverty and in crisis.

"Finally, I would say to parents to realize when you are about to lose it before you snap and ask someone to take care of your child while you take a break," Rice concluded.

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