WACO, Texas – CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of McLennan County has teamed up with the City of Waco to raise awareness for child abuse in a year where the issue is more imperative than most.
With the COVID-19 pandemic shutting the world down for the last year, the quarantine has meant fewer people have seen the signs of abuse.
“When everything is shut down and you don’t have as many points of contact with those children in the school systems, doctor’s visits, all of those different things have decreased this year. There’s a lot less opportunity,” says CASA Director of Communications Lucas Land.
Land says there are roughly 800 kids in McLennan County suffering from abuse and neglect at any given time – but CASA can only serve just above 200.
Because of this, they are trying to bring more awareness to the issue. This is where the mayor’s office steps in.
“We’re really excited about partnering with the city this year,” Land said. “They have done a proclamation that we will be sharing on social media to declare April ‘Child Abuse Prevention Month.'”
In an effort to promote Friday as “Go Blue Day” to raise awareness, the city will also be lighting the Brazos River Bridge blue.
“Child abuse and neglect, unfortunately, is a sad reality that impacts every segment of our community,” says Waco Mayor Dillon Meek. “Bringing awareness to this issue and supporting our organizations that work to curtail this problem is something that is very important to us.”
If you see something you may think is child abuse, you can report it to the Texas Abuse Hotline at 800-252-5400.