East Texas advocates work to keep child abuse awareness at forefront

East Texas advocates work to keep child abuse awareness at forefront
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 4:05 PM CDT
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UPSHURE COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - Child abuse affects thousands of East Texas children every year, and a child advocacy group is working to keep the issue from slipping through the cracks.

A children’s advocacy coalition was at the regular Upshur County Commissioners Court meeting Wednesday morning to keep the important issue on the forefront.

“Child abuse is a serious problem, affecting every segment of our community. We’re here today to get the commissioners court to recognize April as Child Abuse Awareness Month to bring more attention to the problem of child abuse throughout the state,” said Northeast Texas Child Advocacy Center member Freddie Fitsgerald.

According to the CAC of Texas, over 61,000 children were served in Texas in 2020, and 68,000 in 2021.

“Well, what we’re hoping for is education, that’s my big push this year, and the next couple of years. Education so the community will know what we do, and we have hope, and give the kids hope,” says Pam Buttrick, president of the Northeast Texas Child Advocacy Center.

After a proclamation was read, the court unanimously voted to make April Child Abuse Awareness Month in Upshur County.

“Getting volunteers in the community that we work with in Gregg, Upshur and Rusk county, and bringing awareness about the neglect and child abuse that our counties face. That’s going to be our next generation, that’s our treasure. We have to cherish that, we have to protect that,” says Chris Derrick of CASA.

The Northeast Texas Child Advocacy Center celebrates its 25th year of service in 2023. As part of the observance, blue ribbons from the coalition will be wrapped around the trees at the Upshur County Courthouse.