Every 8 Minutes a Child in Texas is a Victim of Abuse & Neglect. Failure to Report Child Abuse is a Crime in Texas.
Join Senator Florence Shapiro, Law Enforcement, Child Abuse Prosecutors, the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center and the Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County to Watch a Groundbreaking Documentary on Child Abuse in Texas and Learn How You Can Report Child Abuse in Texas.
Dallas, Texas — A scandal currently rocking the nation brings attention to the horror of child sexual abuse. The Pennsylvania grand jury indictment of Jerry Sandusky, a former 23-year football coach at Pennsylvania State University and founder of the Second Mile Charity, charges Sandusky with the sexual abuse of at least eight boys.
The scandal has also implicated a cover up by top school officials who have been charged with perjury and failure to report suspected child abuse.
In Texas, failure to report suspected child abuse or neglect is a crime under Chapter 261 of the Texas Family Code. A person commits an offense if the person has cause to believe that a child is being abused or neglected and knowingly fails to report this abuse. Failure to report is a Class A misdemeanor in Texas, and can in some circumstances be elevated to a state jail felony. A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by imprisonment of up to 180 days and/or a fine of up to $2,000.
How to report abuse in Texas:
· Call the state’s Child Abuse Hotline — toll-free 1-800-252-5400 (operated 24 hours/7 days)
· File an online report through the state’s secure website:
· Contact your local law enforcement (generally via 9-1-1)
The Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas, the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, and the Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County, along with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX), are teaming up to bring attention to the problem of child sexual abuse through a special screening of the documentary “When the Bough Breaks” at the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas Auditorium at 1001 East Lookout Drive in Richardson, Texas on November 10, 2011 at 6:15 p.m.
“When the Bough Breaks,” narrated by actor Sam Waterston of NBC-TV’s “Law & Order” and told by the Visionaries, a prestigious documentary program in its 17th season, presents an emotional story about child abuse, a silent epidemic in Texas and across America.
Link to trailer of the documentary: http://youtu.be/PxliG28ntOk
“We believe this documentary, ‘When the Bough Breaks,’ is a groundbreaking film that changes how society looks at child abuse. The film takes viewers behind the scenes for a unique glimpse into a child abuse investigation utilizing the children’s advocacy center model,” said Joy Hughes Rauls, Executive Director of the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas. “We want the public to understand how law enforcement, caseworkers, prosecutors and medical professionals work together with the children’s advocacy centers across Texas to protect children and most importantly, we want to protect children from sexual abuse through the empowerment of an informed, engaged public.”
“As the largest health insurer in Texas, we are strongly committed to improving children’s health,” says Darren Rodgers, President, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas. “We understand the long-term health implications of adverse childhood experiences and we are proud to partner with the children’s advocacy centers to help improve the lives of abused children across our state. “
There are 65 children’s advocacy centers in Texas. Texas leads the nation in the number of operating children’s advocacy centers, serving our state’s most vulnerable population, including child victims of sexual and physical abuse and child witnesses to violent crime.
“We are particularly pleased that this documentary finally demonstrates the need to focus on the prevention of child sexual abuse in Texas. It also shows the enormous progress we’ve made not only in the recovery for children, but in the investigation of child sexual abuse, serious physical abuse and young witnesses to violence,” said Mr. Lynn M. Davis, President and CEO of Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center and Lynne McLean, CEO, Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County. “The children’s advocacy center model offers access to justice for children and a deep collaboration of the best of community and our partner agencies.”
Last year almost 40,000 child victims received critical services at a children’s advocacy center in Texas. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas is the underwriter of this documentary.
Texas State Senator Florence Shapiro will be the keynote speaker. A panel discussion will follow the screening featuring:
Dr. Eduardo Sanchez, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer,
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas
- Eren Price, Prosecutor, Child Abuse Division,
Dallas County District Attorney’s Office
- Dan Powers, Senior Vice President of Clinical Services,
Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County
- Annie Flores, Program Administrator, Child Protective Services
- Adam Perry, Detective, Richardson Police Department
Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas, Inc. (CACTX) is the statewide membership association of all local children’s advocacy centers (CACs) in Texas. Today, there are 65 local CACs serving 162 counties across the state and providing hope, healing and justice to child victims of abuse.
These local children’s advocacy centers provide a safe, child-friendly approach to the investigation, prosecution and treatment of crimes against children CACs represent formalized partnerships with law enforcement, child protective services, prosecutors, medical and mental health professionals and others who agree to work together to effectively investigate child abuse cases and coordinate the delivery of vital services to child abuse victims and their families.
CACTX’s member centers reflect the vast diversity of Texas, all with their own unique approaches to fulfilling our shared mission of protecting and providing for children. To learn more, please visit: www.cactx.org.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX)
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas — the only statewide, customer-owned health insurer in Texas — is the largest provider of health benefits in the state, working with nearly 40,000 physicians and 400 hospitals to serve 4.6 million members in all 254 counties. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas is a Division of Health Care Service Corporation (which operates Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Texas, Illinois, Oklahoma and New Mexico, the country’s largest customer-owned health insurer overall. Health Care Service Corporation is a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and in independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
About Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County
Our doors opened in 1992 and since then the Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County has served over 38,000 children. We began by offering services to only 10% of child abuse victims in Collin County, and today we offer services to 100% of the children identified as victims of abuse. The concept for a Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) originated when Alabama Congressman Robert E. “Bud” Cramer, Jr. was serving as a District Attorney. In 1985, Congressman Cramer reached the conclusion that many systems in place to support children victimized by abuse were actually re-victimizing them. Children suffering abuse were shuffled from police stations to social service offices, spending hours and days in adult facilities with people trained to deal with adults, not children. Congressman Cramer’s idea was to create a child friendly environment where children could safely tell their story and receive the support they need after abuse. His vision has lead to the creation of more than 700 CAC’s throughout the nation, with 64 in Texas alone. Today children are able to visit a CAC full of childhood comforts designed specifically for them. Instead of describing their abuse to multiple adults, they speak with a trained forensic interviewer in a comfortable environment and the interview is recorded to minimize the number of times they must retell the details of their trauma.
About Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center
The mission of the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center is to improve the lives of abused children in Dallas County and provide national leadership on child abuse issues. The only agency of its kind in Dallas County, DCAC reduces the re-victimization of the child, removes barriers to investigation and treatment, and enhances criminal prosecution with its distinctive multidisciplinary and united approach to child abuse cases. DCAC works in agreement with public and private agencies including Dallas law enforcement, Child Protective Services, the District Attorney’s Office, and Children’s Medical Center (REACH Clinic) to improve child abuse cases in Dallas County. DCAC was a pioneer in the Children’s Advocacy Center movement, and today is recognized internationally for its expertise in the identification, investigation and prosecution of child abuse cases, for its cutting-edge therapy programs for victims and for its community and professional education programs. Since opening its doors in 1991, DCAC has increased the number of victims and families served annually from 725 to approximately 2,000.
IMPORTANT STATS FROM DFPS for FY 2010
• Every 8 minutes a child in Texas was a victim of abuse or neglect
• A child died from abuse and neglect every 38 hours in Texas
• 1 out of every 100 children was a victim of abuse or neglect in Texas
• Nearly 40,000 or 59% of those children were infants to 6 years old
• Nearly 43,000 children were in the case and custody of DFPS
Source: DFPS Data Book for FY 2010 (Sept. 1, 2009-Aug. 31, 2010)
For more information about your county, go to the Data Book: http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/About/Data_Books_and_Annual_Reports/2010/default.asp.