“In South Dakota, children have the highest rate of victimization for multiple crimes,” said Sanderson. “A very high percentage of victims of sexual violence in South Dakota are under the age of 18.”

Sanderson also discussed the mental health implications of the pandemic.

“Nationally, we are finding that children have a higher stress response to COVID-19 than any age demographic,” Sanderson said. “We have to be prepared to help our kid respond. How do we do that? We create safe, loving and stable relationships.”

Sanderson earned her Bachelor of Arts, Master of Public Administration and Juris Doctorate degrees from USD. She has previously served as the executive director for the South Dakota Association for County Officials where she represented South Dakota’s Auditors, Treasurers, and Registers of Deeds on a state and national level and coordinated training opportunities for officials. She also worked in private practice at Moreno, Lee & Bachand, P.C. Law Firm in Pierre, South Dakota, and prosecuted violent crimes with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of South Dakota. In 2017, Sanderson became the inaugural director of the School of Health Sciences Center for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment.

Credit Hour is the University of South Dakota’s podcast highlighting the achievement, research and scholarship of its staff, students, alumni and faculty. Follow Credit Hour on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and www.usd.edu/podcast.

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