Posted: 7:51 p.m. MST
The number of child sexual abuse victims who Amberly's Place helped increased by 31 percent in 2012 compared to 2011, according to statistics collected from Amberly's Place, a victims' advocate organization.
Nationally, a report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds, according to national child abuse statistics.
In 94 percent of cases, the abuser is someone the victim knows, local advocates said.
"People think, 'I have a really good relationship with my child. If my child was being abused, my child would tell me.' That's not necessarily so, because they know, one, most of the time, the perpetrator is a family member or family friend, and they love and care about that person and they know their family does, too," said Diane Umphress, executive director at Amberly's Place.
If a child shows behavioral changes, these are often red flags, experts added.
"With a younger child, you should look and see if all of a sudden that child doesn't want that person to hold them, or if they cry when you leave them with that person, if they have difficulty sleeping, if they've been potty trained, if all of a sudden they're wetting the bed again," Umphress said.
For younger children, also pay attention to physical signs of abuse, Umphress urged.
"I think as a parent you've got that gut instinct that tells you if something is wrong. If you've got that instinct--it's usually right," Umphress said.
Amberly's Place wants the public to know that when abuse is reported, advocates will guide victims through the process--they are not alone.