LUFKIN,TX (KTRE)- The number of cases of innocent children being physically abused and sexually exploited is disturbingly increasing around east Texas.
Shrari Pulliam, Public Information Officer with Texas Department of Protective Services says, " In Angelina County last year there were over 800 reports of child abuse and neglect, of those 800 cases 200 were actually confirmed victims."
Pulliam attributes the increase in cases to more people coming forth and reporting suspected child abuse, soemthing she encourages others to do.
She says, " if they have any kind of inkling or they they think that it's happening, it probably is happening, and they need to call."
Making a simple phone call can be crucial to saving a child's life. "Just recently we had some really horrific child deaths in this area and in east Texas," says Pulliam.
More parents need to get involved and not be afraid to ask simple questions. Pulliam says those are the keys to preventing child abuse. "They need to talk to them about their day everyday, talk about what they did in school that day, where they spent the night before, what did they eat, a lot of the things you wouldn't make to be anything you can really get some good information."
Parents are the frontline of defense for preventing child abuse, however, it takes everyone being alert and reporting suspected cases to keep our children safe.
Statistics show most of the time the abuser is known to the child. If you suspect abuse, you can call the statewide hotline, 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year at 1-800-252-5400. if you are interested in helping the foster children you can contact Lufkin Community Partners.
The organization works with the community to provide donations of clothes, shoes, and toys for Angelina County foster children. The contact person Amanda Ellison 936-422-4575 or 936-404-6812.
If you need any help there are resources available to help anyone. You can dial 211 on your phone. You can also contact The Coalition, they specialize in providing community resources. Contatct them at 936-634-9308.