April Is Child Abuse Prevention Month

Ceremony Held on Courthouse Steps

By Will Johnson
Messenger Reporter

CROCKETT – April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and to commemorate the month, a ceremony was held on the steps of the Houston County Courthouse on April 3. Community and religious leaders, along with city and county officials were all on hand to mark the occasion.

Pastor Tim Allen opened the ceremony and said one of the things he loved most about Houston County was the spirit of cooperation he saw among the various entities when it came to the issue of child abuse.

“I kind of made up a theme for myself and that is that everyone can do something to stop child abuse. We are evidence of that in Houston County are we are making a big difference,” he said.

As he continued, Allen said the blue and silver pinwheels adorning the courthouse lawn represented the 175 daily reports of child abuse in the state of Texas.

“One in 10 children, in the state of Texas, – before the age of 18 will be sexually abused. That’s 740,000 children that have grown to be an adult who have to live with the stigma of somebody abusing their innocence and that has to stop,” Allen implored.

Following several introductions, Allen turned the program over to Charlana Kelly for a word of prayer. Once she concluded, County Judge Jim Lovell read a proclamation declaring April as Child Abuse Prevention Month in Houston County.

The judge also provided some rather disturbing statistics to the attendees.

There were 246,075 cases of child abuse and neglect reported in Texas during Fiscal Year 2018. The number of confirmed victims of child abuse across the state was 66,386 with 117 of those children residing in Houston County, he said.

County Court-at-Law Judge Sarah Clark spoke next and spoke about the role parents play in helping to prevent child abuse.

Judge Clark was followed by District Attorney Donna Kaspar who said when she took office in 2009, of the indicted cases that year, 2% involved “… sexual assault of children or injury to a child. Last year, it was 11%. The numbers just keep going up.”

Houston County Attorney Daphne Session followed the DA and expressed her thanks to the various agencies she and her office worked with in combatting the problem of child abuse.

After a few more speakers and once the Pledge of Allegiance was given, a balloon release was held to commemorate the victims of child abuse.


Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at [email protected].

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