CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Child Abuse Awareness Month doesn't kick off until April, but educational programs at local schools are starting Friday. This is an issue very important in the Heartland.
According to the Beacon Health Center in Cape Girardeau, one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday.
And 95% of those children know their abuser.
Also, only 6-12% of children report sexual abuse to someone that can help them.
Kids are also increasingly being targeted on the Internet.
The Graves County Middle School Ambassadors will march from the Green Center for Advocacy to the Graves County Courthouse steps where a proclamation will be read to honor the occasion at 8:30 AM
In southern Illinois, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon will talk about child abuse prevention issues at the Illinois Centre Mall in Marion at 10 a.m.