Child abuse is a major problem across the nation, and Texas is no exception.
Child Protective Services (CPS) completed 174,740 investigations last year in Texas and confirmed that 63,657 children were victims of abuse or neglect.
That’s an eight and a half percent increase in the number of victims compared to the previous year.
"We must all get involved to make children safer – whether it’s a teacher or a neighbor that reports suspected abuse or a church or charitable organization that helps parents and families," said Henry "Hank" Whitman, Jr, commissioner of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS).
All across Texas DFPS is participating with many partners, in hundreds of child abuse awareness and prevention efforts throughout the month of April.
Here are some events going on right here in Corpus Christi.
April 2nd – Pinwheels Ceremony
Head to the Nueces County Courthouse for a visual display of pinwheels in recognition of child abuse and neglect prevention.
The display will be open from 8:00AM to 5:00PM:
There will be various information booths from community stakeholders and community partners and child advocacy.
April 3rd – Planting of the Pin Wheels
Participants can plant pin wheels on the ground at CASA, each pin wheel representing an abused child.
The event takes place from 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM, and is open to the public.
Ringing of the Bells
From 5:30 – 7:00 PM, participants gather and ring the bell in awareness of child abuse prevention.
This event will take place at CASA.
5th Annual Children’s Advocacy Center Roast
Beginning at 6:00 PM at the Corpus Christi Country Club.
April 6th – Wear Blue Day
Wear blue to raise awareness of child abuse prevention.
April 9th – Wreath Ceremony
The ceremony will begin at 9:00 AM at the Nueces County Courthouse.
April 10th – Child Abuse Awareness Month Proclamation
At 8:00 AM Mayor Joe McComb will read a proclamation declaring April Child Abuse Awareness Month.
That will be held at City Hall and is open to the public.
April 17th – Practical Parenting Education Series
Parents can learn how to be pro-active in preventing child abuse and neglect from 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM at the Education Service Center.
April 19th – Walk To Glow and Lighting of the Harbor Bridge
Participants will walk/run 1.6 miles from the Education Service Center, finishing at the Harbor Bridge,.
The bridge will be lit up like a blue pinwheel, representing the National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
This is the 2nd Annual Walk to Glow.
The walk takes place from 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM.
EVERYONE is invited to step up, speak up and protect abused and neglected children in our community.
April 26th – Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month Closing Event
Education Service Center, Region 2 is hosting Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Awareness Walk recognizing child abuse in our community.
That will be held at the Oso Bay Wetlands from 10:00 to 11:00 AM.
April 29th – Blue Sunday, Day of Prayer
This will be the 24th Annual Day of Prayer.
Head to any place of worship to participate.
May 5th – Buccaneer Parade
BCFS HHS will have a float entry for the parade where the theme will be "Child Abuse Awareness" (No Excuse for Child Abuse).
The purpose is to bring awareness to the community and change lives in Corpus Christi’s annual celebration.
That takes place from 8:00PM – 10:30 PM.
You can find updated events information in your city/county on HelpandHope.org, the DFPS prevention information website.
Report Abuse or Neglect – If you suspect child abuse or neglect, contact the Texas Abuse Hotline at 800-252-5400 or report online at TxAbuseHotline.org.
Texas Youth Hotline: TexasYouth.org