Community encouraged to play an active role in protecting our children
Child abuse continues to have a major impact in Central Texas and the U.S. Today, doctors and local officials gathered on the front lawn of McLane Children’s Hospital to honor children who were victims of child abuse and to encourage the community to play an active role in protecting children.
Children who are victims of abuse can sustain bone fractures, injuries to the abdominal organs, burns, and head injuries. Sadly, many injuries lead to chronic physical disabilities and almost all leave emotional scars on the child.
“Extended family members, neighbors and good citizens are all responsible to help protect our children,” said Danny Little, MD, pediatric surgeon at McLane Children’s Hospital. “Victims will often show injuries in different stages of healing. Others may withdraw from social and school activities. Any report of abuse (outcry) should be taken seriously and reported.”
In 2014, McLane Children’s Hospital evaluated 655 children and 71 children at Memorial Hospital for physical and sexual abuse. Through education and awareness, the community can help prevent incidents of child abuse, especially those resulting hospitalization. Local police and community agencies offer programs that promote prevention and reporting when child abuse is suspected.
“Bell County, as a community, has made great strides in attempting to decrease the number of domestic and child abuse cases through active enforcement, prosecution, and referral services for those affected by these crimes,” said Cpl. Christopher Wilcox, Temple Police Department. “However, we cannot rest on these victories when there is still so much to be done.”
“Child abuse is never acceptable and unfortunately it happens all too often,” said Henry Garza, Bell County District Attorney. “We must work together with law enforcement officers, medical professionals, and community stake holders with the objective of holding offenders accountable who have mistreated children. We also must assist in healing the broken lives of families and children who have suffered from abuse.”
If you suspect child abuse, please contact your local authorities.