Special police units that investigate sexual abuse, sexual assault and serious child physical abuse see hundreds of cases every year. Most striking, though, is the number of child sex abuse cases the units see.
In fiscal year 2013, the 12-month period ending last June, the state’s Special Investigation Units worked with 1,414 Vermonters who were victims of abuse or in high-risk situations, according to a report filed this week the the legislature. Of those, 1,164 were children.
Statewide, the units saw 945 cases of child sexual abuse – 83 percent of all child cases. In the majority of those cases, the offender was the child’s parent.
“Over half of all reported child victims are 12 years of age or younger,” the report said.
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The legislature mandated the Special Investigation Units (SIUs) in 2005 with the intent of making them available statewide by 2009. The SIUs are overseen by Bram Kranichfeld, the executive director of the Department of State’s Attorneys and Sheriffs. Since the Addison County unit launched operations in January 2013, Kranichfeld said, 12 units serve all 14 counties of the state.