In 2020, almost 200 children in Texas died because of abuse or neglect.
Experts said cases of child abuse usually increase during the summer. Recently, there has been a string of instances of child abuse in Southeast Texas.
In 2020, almost 200 children in Texas died because of abuse or neglect, according to officials with CASA of Southeast Texas.
“One hundred ninety-nine kids, that’s a lot of kids,” Elizabeth Woods, CASA of Southeast Texas director, said. “We want everyone to know that it’s happening, and we need help. The kids need help. They need to be rescued from those situations, and we just want everybody to be aware of that.”
Teachers are often the number one reporters of abuse in children.
With school out for the season, children who are victims of abuse do not have an extra set of eyes. With the cost of child care increasing, many parents do not have the means to hire extra help while they work.
Beaumont Officer Carol Riley believes the community can step in. Officer Riley said the Beaumont Police Department is ready to help the community organize events for kids throughout the summer.
“Let’s think outside the box,” Officer Riley said. “Let’s find things for kids to do. And if your organization is hosting something, reach out to us. Let us know. We’d love to come and spend some time with the kids talk to them about safety.”
Officer Riley encourages events like day camps and vacation bible schools, so children and parents can get the break they need.
“A lot of different factors could cause triggers that may end up with children being abused,” Officer Riley said. “So, we want to give parents that opportunity to get counseling to have breaks from the kids.”
Some of the programs Officer Riley encourages children to join are listed on the City of Beaumont’s Facebook page. These include free library events, including slime making and rock painting, and more.
Signs of abuse in children can include unexplained injuries or bruises, children seeming afraid of a specific adult or family member or a sudden change in how a child acts.
Community members are encouraged to report instances of abuse. Officials believe it is always better to be safe than sorry.
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