Every year, countless children are abused and neglected by the ones they love and trust. It’s time for each of us to speak up for these children so that they may live safe, happy lives.
Last year, 156 Texas children died from abuse and neglect. That means an innocent life was taken every 60 hours.
April is a time for us to take a break from our busy schedules and acknowledge these children and say that their lives – and deaths – were not in vain.
Many of us will wear blue ribbons, attend special events or say that these children are in our hearts. But, these actions alone are not enough. In 2013, 66,398 children fell victim to abuse, and 60 percent of them were under the age of 6. It’s time for us to act on their behalf, for they are OUR children.
The traumatic experiences that abused children face early in life can greatly affect their lives as adults. These children often grow up with mental health problems and trust issues. Bounced about in a broken and overburdened system, too many drop out of school and turn to crime or live on the streets. This spiral not only threatens the future of the child, but also the fragile social safety net of our great state.
Too many children in the dysfunctional foster care system are slipping through the cracks. You have the power to change this. By becoming a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates®) volunteer, you can change the life of a foster child simply by speaking up for them.
Each of us has an obligation and an opportunity to break the cycle of child abuse and neglect. If you see abuse, report it to (800) 252-5400 or go to www.txabusehotline.org . If a child’s life is in danger. call 911. If you want to make leave a legacy of positive change, become a CASA volunteer. Call the Bluebonnet CASA office at 325.347.6474
We challenge you to use your voice and speak up for the children who cannot speak for themselves. If we unite, maybe we won’t need a Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Lisa Goehmann is executive director of Bluebonnet CASA, which recruits, trains and supports volunteers to advocate for abused and neglected children in Mason, Menard, Kimble and McCulloch County. We are currently serving 41 children throughout all four counties.