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The original item was published from 4/20/2016 9:57:00 AM to 4/20/2017 12:05:01 AM.

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Posted on: April 20, 2016

[ARCHIVED] APRIL IS CHILD ABUSE AWARENESS AND PREVENTION MONTH IN HIDALGO COUNTY

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Eight babies were killed in Hidalgo County as a result of abuse and negligence in 2015. The deaths were among the 2,144 confirmed cases of child abuse and neglect reported last year.

In hopes of raising awareness and promoting community action, Commissioners Court proclaimed April as Child Abuse Awareness Month.

Hidalgo County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Executive Director Diana Almaguer was joined by staff members and volunteers who work with these children every day.

“Eight deaths, all of them under the age of two, is too many. One death is too many,” said Almaguer.
Child abuse prevention is a community responsibility and finding solutions depends on involvement among all people, she said.

Almaguer was joined by staff members and dedicated volunteers, such as Bikers Against Child Abuse, who park their motorcycles outside of children’s homes to help them feel safe from their abusers. A few of the special advocates, who work with children to ensure they are well represented, also were on hand.

"They go with them to court as well to make sure the children feel safe when the perpetrator is in the courtroom,” Almaguer said, adding that the volunteers are completely non-funded and selflessly devote their time to making sure these children are never harmed again.

Effective child abuse prevention programs succeed because of partnerships among agencies, schools, religious organizations, law enforcement agencies, and the business community.

Everyone in the community should become more aware of child abuse prevention and consider helping parents raise their children in a safe, nurturing environment.

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