AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - 870 cases of child abuse and neglect in Potter and Randall counties in 2016 have officials urging better prevention.
In Potter county, there were 3 child deaths related to abuse or neglect in 2016, and the Texas Health and Human Services says stopping those deaths is an ongoing battle.
But the state is stepping up prevention efforts through campaigns and events, including a child abuse prevention rally here in Amarillo.
"It's reaching out not only to the public, to the community, but to the kids. trying to put the awareness out there that there is child abuse in Amarillo, that there is child abuse all over, and that it needs to be stopped," says Billie Palmer with the AAYC Board of Directors.
CPS is also joining with local governments, community groups, service organizations, activists, and other partners to put the spotlight on prevention, recognition, and reporting abuse. This rally in Amarillo will include various activities, including self-defense courses.
"You know that it's out there. People don't stop and think about it, but every child that you pass in the supermarket or at the mall, or at the park, you don't know how they're being treated at home or sometimes even in public they're maybe not physically abused, but mentally abused too...emotional stuff, so yeah it's really prevalent," says Palmer.
Palmer sees many of these children first-hand, as she volunteers at the AAYC.
"You don't know if it's at school with the bullying, or if it's at home being abused, you just don't know. But when they're there, they know they're loved, and they know that we're going to take care of them and they know that we're there if they need us"....something she hopes more area children will realize after this event.
A list of events are here:
Annual Child Abuse Prevention Rally – April 1, 10:00am
Description: Annual Child Abuse Prevention Rally, sponsored by AAYC Community Center, event to raise awareness. There will be community booths, Balloon release, face painting, immunizations, blood drive, youth performances, educational booths, drug abuse information session, games and food.
Location: 816 S. Van Buren, 79101
Participants: Public is invited
17th Annual Child Abuse Prevention Conference - April 4, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Description: The conference features two speakers: Lisa Aronson Fontes, PhD will discuss "Child Abuse and Culture: Working with Diverse Families"; and Phylip J. Peltier will discuss "Forensic Bite Marks and Suspicious Burn Injuries."
Location: Amarillo Civic Center Heritage Room, 401 S. Buchanan, Amarillo, TX 79101
Participants: Probation officers, school resource/law enforcement officers who work with youth, caseworkers, CASA volunteers, counselors, teachers, school administrators, nurses, foster or adoptive parents and all other related professionals.
Potter County Proclamation - April 10, 9:00 am
Description: Potter County Commissioner's Court will declare April Child Abuse Prevention Month
Location: Potter County Courthouse, 500 S. Fillmore, Amarillo 79101
Participants: Community is invited Contact: Betty Lovelady, firstname.lastname@example.org
Randall County Proclamation - April 11, 9:00am
Description: Randall County Commissioner's Court will declare April Child Abuse Prevention Month
Location: Randall County Courthouse, 501 16th, Ste. 305, Canyon 79015
Participants: Community is invited
Venom Indoor Football game - April 22, 7:00pm
Description: Awareness items, including t-shirts will be distributed throughout the game.
Location: Amarillo Civic Center, 401 S. Buchanan 79101
Participants: Community is invited