The Michael Jackson trial, abuductions of young girls and new laws related to 'child sex crimes' are all headline stories that are reminders of child abuse. Child advocates campaign during April to prevent child abuse.
The children at Right Step Day Care in Nacogdoches are in a safe environment. Tha's a daily goal for their caregivers. Yet their happiness should never be taken for granted. No child is one hundred percent safe from child abuse.
Daycare owner and child abuse prevention advocate Lisa King said, "It's something that goes on constantly. It crosses all sectors. It's not just related to one income level, one ethnicity. It's everywhere and that's what is so unfortunate."
Responsible child care givers educate themselves about the red flags of sexual abuse among children. They should know that 1 in 5 boys and 1 in 3 girls will be sexually abused by the time they are age 18.
During Child Abuse Prevention Month child advocates remind parents there are warnings for all forms of child abuse, including sexual abuse. King teaches parents that, "Anytime the child says there's a secret with an adult that should be a red flag and you should investigate that."
Laws eliminating the statute of limitations in child sex crimes cases are under discussion now in Austin. But no matter how many laws are on the books, few will do any good if people don't watch out for children. "It doesn't matter what the leg is if there are not people truly concerned about children to protect them and report cases like this it will never go any further", said King.
Awareness is the best defense against child abuse. Information about child abuse can be obtained from most child care providers and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. It's never too late to learn how to protect those who have difficulty protecting themselves.
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