#minorsextrafficking | Lecture series planned for Child Abuse Awareness Month



As the year closes in on April, it will once again be time to recognize Child Abuse Awareness Month.

In the lead up to the month, the Children’s Advocacy Center of Laredo-Webb County has planned out a lecture series to inform the community and raise awareness of the issue.

According to the CAC, in February 2021, they served 53 child clients with 30 and 23 females and males, respectively, including five repeats. A total of 31 were between the ages of 6-12, while 16 were between ages 13-17 and six between 0-5.

The severity and importance of the Child Abuse Awareness Month campaign and the conference is evident as the center reported that 33 of the children helped in February were sexually abused and seven were physically abused. Additionally, six of the children had witnessed abuse, and the remaining seven showed signs of neglect.

On Facebook, Executive Director Dr. Severita Sanchez announced that the 21st annual conference titled “It TAKES a Team to Protect a Child” will be virtual for the first time. The cost of registration will be $40, and registrants can expect the conference to last until July.


According to the post, over 15 speakers will be presenting virtually on the subject based on their expertise. This includes various members of the community, which some have recently been announced.

UISD Deputy Superintendent Gloria Rendon will discuss parent and children concerns in a school setting. In her speaker spotlight, it states that her lecture will revolve around the times when parents can and should express concern and provide a strategy to address them.

“While school employees are aware of the guidelines for dealing with parental/guardian concerns, handling the more complex ones can be challenging,” Rendon said in a statement for her lecture. “Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach to handle every incident, there are some important guidelines school personnel can follow to ensure that a bad situation is not made worse.”

Marilyn Bautista, a member of BCFS Health and Human Services, will give a lecture regarding sex trafficking and child exploitation. Bautista has presented on the subject of sexual abuse prevention and has helped others understand the causes and consequences of sexual abuse. This is in tandem with also presenting on the concern of sex trafficking and the importance of shedding light on the matter.

Also announced on Monday, the founder of Campbell Research and Consulting in Andrew Campbell will join as an upcoming presenter to talk about the risks surrounding physical and emotional harm for not only children but also family pets in domestically violent homes.

The CAC reminded the community in January that unreported cases do no meant abuse is not happening, and it asked the community to continue to report any sign of abuse.

This signs can include:

A child appears to be uneasy, agitated or unusually quiet around certain people.

A child avoids a particular person.

A child resists affection from a certain person.

A child’s behavior and personality changes completely (i.e., don’t eat, agitated, lethargic).

A child’s sleeping habits or personal hygiene is changed and causes concern.
“When a child’s behavior suddenly changes, there is a reason. The root cause could be any number of things, but it is our job as adults to find out why and respond accordingly,” says the CAC in a statement.


cocampo@lmtonline.com



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