Blue Ribbons Go Up In Sherman For Abused Children - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Blue Ribbons Go Up In Sherman For Abused Children

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SHERMAN, TX -- Blue ribbons went up to recognize those who should be too young to experience violence, in an effort to draw attention to and stop child abuse.

Officials say it happens hundreds of times every year just in Grayson County. At one place, adults take on the abusers by first finding out what happened.

Pretty blue ribbons waving in the sun at the Grayson County Courthouse carry a message about a disturbing issue. "The blue signifies the bruising of children," says Children's Advocacy Center program director Bobbi Wieck.

CPS had 453 cases of confirmed child abuse from September 2011 to 2012 in Grayson County, up from around 300 cases in each of three prior years, according to one statistic recorded by Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. That's one or two out of every one hundred kids.

They talk about their abuse to people like Wieck. "We average 500 children a year that we interview, now that's not all victims, I will say that not everybody makes outcries thank goodness," says Wieck. "I would say that we have half do make outcries and that's for severe physical abuse, or sexual abuse, or they're witnesses to a crime."

Wieck says there have been more cases of abuse, but that may not mean that there's more abuse going on, just more people reporting it.

Meantime, as they try and deal with this problem they're working on a new addition to their building. "It's almost done. We're hoping to have it completed by the first part of May," says Wieck.

It includes a new conference room and a new room for forensic interviews. "We ask questions that are non-leading, open-ended and let the child do most of the talking. We're here to let them feel comfortable in talking about what has possibly happened," says Wieck.

Advocates say many of the children can get through their abuse, but they need support. "Children are very resilient and are very strong. Children will surprise you. But at the same time, we need to make sure that they stay strong, and so that is why we do a referral for therapy after a forensic interview," says Wieck.
   
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Wieck says churches are being encouraged to say a prayer for child abuse victims on April 28.