Missouri officials say the state Children's Division has received more than 1,000 reports of juveniles with sexual behavior problems since late August.
According to state Social Services department's spokeswoman Rebecca L. Woelfel, the division has logged 1,270 reports between Aug. 28 and Nov. 30.
A law allowing the division to investigate complaints of child-on-child sexual abuse was recently passed, increasing the division's caseload and insight into the scope of the issue.
Until this year, state officials or local law enforcement were authorized to take action on a complaint only when the person accused of causing abuse had "care, custody and control over" the victim. Since juveniles don't fit that definition, no one had the authority to investigate complaints that one child had abused another.