April is child abuse prevention month and a few organizations in the Rio Grande Valley are coming together to educate the community. It’s difficult to imagine that someone would intentionally hurt a child.Children ‘s advocacy centers provide services and assistance for young victims of abuse. They work to increase public awareness of the impacts this abuse has on young ones. According to 2017 statistics from the Children’s Advocacy Center of Hidalgo County, 1,330 victims were served in Hidalgo and Starr County alone. 70 percent of those victims were female and 30 percent were males. 98 percent of the alleged perpetrators, the victim knew. Jesus Sanchez the interim executive director of the Hidalgo County center told Fox News South Texas that if the children do not get the help they need, it can affect them when they grow up. Sanchez added that child abuse is the crime of secrecy, he encourages the community to bring this topic to the forefront and speak up about it to prevent negative behaviors that will affect these young children when they become adults. The director of the Children Advocacy Center of Cameron County indicated that many of the children that are physically abused never speak out because they are too afraid to ask for help. By law everyone is obligated to report suspected child abuse, if you suspect a child is in danger, call 911 or report it to the abuse and neglect hotline at 1(800) 252-5400. A simple call could help save the life of an innocent child.
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