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Published December 17, 2009, 07:56 AM

Child abuse and neglect cases are on the rise

(WDAY TV) - A Cass County Deputy has made a startling observation. He says the number of child abuse, and neglect cases are on the rise. Not only does he find it disturbing, but he doesn't know why it's happening. It's Damon Job's 20th year with the Cass County Sheriff's Department. He's seen a lot in his years of service, now he's seeing something that doesn't sit well with him: a steady rise of child abuse and neglect cases.

By: Christina Vaughn, WDAY

(WDAY TV) - A Cass County Deputy has made a startling observation. He says the number of child abuse, and neglect cases are on the rise. Not only does he find it disturbing, but he doesn't know why it's happening.

It's Damon Job's 20th year with the Cass County Sheriff's Department. He's seen a lot in his years of service, now he's seeing something that doesn't sit well with him: a steady rise of child abuse and neglect cases.

“It’s disheartening; any time there's charges involving children, especially at the ages of some of these children where they're very young.”

Job helps process child neglect cases for the county. He isn't sure what's to blame for the spike, but thinks the economy may have something to do with it.

“Increased cost in childcare and things like that are forcing parents to try alternatives that aren't always legal.”

Crimes like abusing your children or leaving them unattended are something the law looks at very seriously. Job says when a child is at such a helpless age, he or she shouldn't have to worry about being left alone, and in a position of being harmed, mentally or physically.

“Out playing and worrying about what they're friends are doing and stuff like that.”

The people who prosecute these cases say a crime against a child is something almost everyone finds unacceptable.

“I think its basic human nature to protect the vulnerable and children, especially very young children are exceptionally vulnerable.”

Burdick says just one crime against a child is too many.

“So if you have any change at all, and it's an increase, it seems like it's a lot.”

Burdick says his office doesn't keep track of the number of child abuse and neglect cases, but he is looking at studying the figures.

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