Child Abuse: Impacts average of 1-in-10 children in Shelby County

Children's Advocacy Centers of Texas hosting 12 p.m., Thursday, April 9, Facebook Live presentation

Child abuse is a societal problem that hits hard all too close to home right here in Shelby County, according to the Shelby County Children's Advocacy Center board and staff.

To help focus attention on the issue, the center along with the Shelby County Commissioners' Court have joined forces to have an official proclamation approved by the court.

Shelby County Judge Allison Harbison said awareness needs to be raised to help curb the problem here in Shelby County. She read portions of a proclamation approved by the commissioners court during an April 1 meeting.

“Each year hundreds of Shelby County children are confirmed victims of child abuse and neglect, and its prevention is a community-wide responsibility,” Harbison said.

During the month of April, Shelby County Advocacy Center will observe National Child Abuse Awareness Month to raise awareness of child abuse neglect and create strong communities to support the strengthening and healing of abused children and their non-offending family members, CAC officials said.

“Shelby County's Children's Advocacy Center serves hundreds of abused and neglected children, as well as their non-offending family members each year,” Harbison said.

“It is important to remember that children are our future,” she said. “We must nurture and protect them and provide a safe environment in which they can grow and prosper.”

During the month the Shelby County Children's Advocacy Center is hosting a variety of reminders of both the severity of the issue and the need to address the problem. For instance, this past Friday was “Go Blue Day” where residents were encouraged to wear blue to show support for child abuse awareness and the work being done at the center.

In conjunction with the Children's Advocacy Centers of Texas, at 12 p.m., Thursday, April 9, there will be a Facebook Live presentation.

“Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas (CACTX) and Women of Courage invite you to a virtual event on the CACTX Facebook page,” according to a statement released by CACTX.

“Join Joy Rauls, Chief Executive Officer of CACTX, and Jenna Quinn, advocate and survivor behind Jenna’s Law, as they discuss the importance of children’s advocacy centers and the issues surrounding child abuse prevention during this time.

Anna Register, forensic interviewer for the Shelby County Children's Advocacy Center, said all too often when people hear the words “child abuse” they attribute it to something happening elsewhere.

We know child abuse feels a world away from the all-consuming crisis our world finds itself in – but we know it rages on in the background of every major crisis as it is an ongoing, seemingly permanent, public health crisis affecting 1 in 10 children,” Register said.

“April is Child Abuse Prevention & Awareness Month, join us as we share the signs, symptoms, and stories of how we continue to serve child victims of abuse in this new landscape,” she said.

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