JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missouri's Task Force on the Prevention of Sexual Abuse of Children released 22 recommendations to better protect the safety of children. Missouri lawmakers requested the task force during the legislative session in 2011.
The members studied and identified strategies for preventing child sexual abuse. The task force heard testimony from 35 child sexual abuse experts.
The report is addressed to Gov. Jay Nixon and lawmakers.
Here's a list of the recommendations:
1: Community-based child abuse prevention education needs to be expanded and be comprehensive in nature.
2: All schools and youth-serving organizations should have specific child sexual abuse prevention policies.
3: Existing state child abuse prevention programs should include programing targeted at preventing child sexual abuse.
4: Expand home-visiting programs and specifically include child sexual abuse prevention in these programs.
5: Create and implement standardized training for all mandated reporters.
6: Fund the creation and implementation of standardized, discipline-specific training for members of the multi- disciplinary team (MDT) and judges.
7: Identify and fund discipline-specific expert technical assistance for MDT members.
8: Establish discipline-specific best practices or standards for multi-disciplinary teams, law enforcement, prosecutors and medical providers.
9: Establish mechanisms for addressing the secondary trauma experienced by individuals who work to address and prevent child sexual abuse.
10: Assess for and address domestic violence when investigating child sexual abuse and providing services to victims and caregivers.
11: Identify and fund evidence-based early intervention and treatment for youth with illegal/inappropriate sexual behaviors.
12: Identify and fund the expansion of mental health services to children who have been sexually abused.
13: Create and fund a child sexual abuse public awareness campaign.
14: The General Assembly should consider increased investment in preventing child sexual abuse in order to reduce the substantial financial, health and social costs associated with childhood trauma.
15: Private foundations in Missouri should increase funding to prevent and address childhood trauma.
16: Submit to Missouri voters a proposed constitutional amendment allowing evidence of signature crimes, commonly referred to as propensity evidence, to be used in child sexual abuse cases.