April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
In the seven county Brazos Valley region last year, Scotty’s House child advocacy center reported 724 victims. 480 of those victims were in Brazos County.
Director Cary Baker says at the start of the pandemic, the number abuse reports dropped by 30 percent. But they are preparing for a sharp increase because of reports are coming in later to law enforcement and Texas child and protective services.
Baker says it’s important for all of us to recognize signs of child abuse and report that activity. She says the information that law enforcement and CPS needs is the minimal facts of who is involved and when is the next time the child will be in contact with the abuser.
Reports can be made to the Texas Child Abuse reporting hotline at 800-252-5400 and on the home page of the Scotty’s House website.
Baker says volunteers are invited to assist Scotty’s House in virtual programs matching their interests to the abuse victims.
Click below to hear Cary Baker’s interview with WTAW’s Bill Oliver during WTAW’s weekly United Way of the Brazos Valley update.
Additional information from Scotty’s House child advocacy center:
In Texas, on average three children die from maltreatment every week, 175 children are confirmed victims every day, and seven children are abused and/or neglected every hour. Child abuse is entirely preventable, but not without your help. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Scotty’s House recognizes this month as an opportunity to raise awareness of the tragedies of child maltreatment, and in doing so we hope to brighten the future for generations to come. This month-long observance engages the Brazos Valley community to show support, and concern for our most vulnerable citizens.
The seven counties Scotty’s House serves had a combined 724 child abuse victims during 2020:
480 victims in Brazos County,
61 victims in Washington County,
53 victims in Burleson County,
52 victims in Robertson County,
42 victims in Grimes County,
20 victims in Leon County, and
16 victims in Madison County.
In conjunction with partnering agencies, Scotty’s House is hosting multiple awareness campaigns and installations throughout the Brazos Valley to honor victims of child abuse. The following is a list of initiatives planned for the 2021 Child Abuse Prevention Month:
During April, in each of the seven counties Scotty’s House serves, a Blue Ribbon has been installed, and on display for the entire month of April honoring the confirmed victims of child abuse in the respective county in 2020.
Scotty’s House has partnered with Dr. Selina Stasi’s class in the School of Public Health at Texas A&M University for the inaugural Awareness Rocks campaign where students have painted rocks in a child-appropriate, child-friendly manner to be placed in and around the Brazos Valley. On the bottom side of each rock is the number to Texas Abuse Hotline in order to spread awareness and encourage reporting!
Scotty’s House, along with representatives from Kappa Alpha Theta, have “planted” the eleventh annual Pinwheel Garden on the lawn at Prosperity Bank, located at 2807 South Texas Avenue in Bryan. The number of pinwheels planted, 663, reflects the number of children who received services at Scotty’s House in 2020. The Pinwheel Garden will remain on display throughout the month of April to bring awareness to the child abuse epidemic.
Friday, April 9 is “Texas Go Blue Day”. Thousands of Texans will wear blue, the official color of prevention, to show their support for children. Make sure to snap a photograph and use the hashtag #BVCAPM2021 to show your support and emphasize the critical importance of preventing child abuse and/or neglect, and keeping children safe! Join us and GO BLUE!
It is your turn to make a difference! Everyone has a role to play in child abuse prevention. To find out how to get involved in child abuse prevention efforts in your community, contact Scotty’s House at 979-703-8813, or visit www.scottyshouse.org. Scotty’s House offers presentations appropriate for all ages, at no charge, with topics including recognizing and reporting abuse, internet safety, etc. For more information on presentations please contact email@example.com.
If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, it is your responsibility to make a report to the Texas Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-252-5400, or online at www.txabusehotline.org.