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Funding sought for Mo. child sex abuse victims

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Advocates for child sex abuse victims are urging the Missouri Legislature to renew a funding increase for their social services.

At issue is an increase of more than 20 percent in funding for child assessment centers that was included in the 2013 budget. That $500,000 increase brought the total funding for the centers to $2.8 million.

The centers conduct forensic interviews and sexual assault exams on children that can help make a legal case against their perpetrators.

On Tuesday, the deputy director of Missouri Kids First urged a House appropriations committee to make the $500,000 increase a permanent part of the 2014 budget for child assessment centers. The House panel is expected to make its budget recommendations by Feb. 21.

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