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Part 2 of a report from KSMU's Missy Shelton on the research of Victor Vieth, Director of the Child Abuse programs at the National District Attorneys Association.
More than 200 people attended a conference on child abuse in Springfield Wednesday. Greene County Prosecutor Darrell Moore organized the event. He says the idea is to start a positive dialogue about how to effect change in the community.
Conference participants listened to a presentation from Victor Vieth, Director of the Child Abuse programs at the National District Attorneys Association.
After the conference, Vieth visited KSMU to discuss child abuse. He says there are five challenges that make it difficult for communities to reduce child abuse. The first one is a reluctance to report child abuse. Vieth says the other challenges include a lack of investigation, training and resources.
To tackle these challenges, Vieth says there must be better training for mandated reporters, people who are required by law to report suspected abuse.
Vieth says he'd like to see an expansion of the "Finding Words" program, which teaches social workers and others how to talk to children about possible abuse.
Vieth says he hopes to see changes at universities that train social workers, doctors and teachers.
Vieth says child abuse prevention programs must be tailored to meet the unique characteristics of each community.
Vieth says ending child abuse is a long term goal that will take three generations to achieve.