Abilene's Child Advocacy Center is asking the community to put a lock or ribbon on a gate in honor of Child Abuse Awareness Month in April.
Last year, more than 166,000 cases of child abuse were investigated in Texas and about one third of those were confirmed, according to the Department of Family and Protective Services. More than 200 children died of abuse or neglect last year. In Abilene, the Child Advocacy Center works under the Abilene Police Department and interviewed more than 350 children who had been sexually or physically abused. Brandon Gurganus, victims services specialist for the CAC, says there's another statistic people don't often think about: the chances of healing. "People think that it's life damaging and that you can't heal from it and that's absolutely not the case, We just want to spread the awareness that you can heal from this and that when it is reported and it is dealt with properly that the chances of a child overcoming it and the family overcoming it is extremely high." Other April events include the Child Abuse Awareness "Stomp Out Child Abuse" Walk Saturday at Red Bud Park.