Breckenridge Texan

Volunteers decorate courthouse lawn to draw attention to child abuse, neglect

Volunteers decorate courthouse lawn to draw attention to child abuse, neglect
April 08
08:13 2018

April is Child Abuse Awareness/Prevention Month, and a team of volunteers showed up Wednesday morning to help decorate the lawn at the Stephens County Courthouse to honor the victims of child abuse and neglect, bringing attention to problem.

They placed small white angels and pinwheels neatly lined up in straight rows. Each angel represents one of the 172 children who died from child abuse and neglect in Texas in 2017.

The volunteers also tied blue ribbons around the trunks of some of the large trees in front of the courthouse. They said the blue represents the bruises left on a child after physical or any other abuse. On top of the blue ribbons, the volunteers then attached decorations painted like the face of a child to honor the children who are in foster care in Stephens County.

Sharon Wimberley, president of the Stephens County Child Welfare Board, said they set up the decorations in April each year to try and draw attention to the problem. They also include in the decorations a sign listing the Child Abuse Hotline’s toll-free phone number 800-254-5500 for people to call and report child abuse or neglect.

She said this year they’ve made a few new additions to their display with blue pinwheels, shiny silver stars hanging from the trees and more lights to make the display easier to see at night.

“Each year we are going to keep adding a little bit more, not a whole lot, just a little bit more, and not take down what we’ve got,” she said. “We want to make it as glitzy as we can get it each year, because we want people to see what’s happening to children in the state of Texas.”

According to the information provided by Wimberley, Texas has more children die from neglect and abuse at the hands of adults than any other state.

She also provided list of tips to help make children aware of abuse and avoid it.

  1. Teach your child how and when to call 911
  2. Encourage your children to tell you of anything they encounter that makes them feel scared, sad or confused
  3. Practice “what if” situations with your child
  4. Praise your child today and every day
  5. Remind your child it is OK to say no to things that feel uncomfortable, scary or confusing
  6. Make sure your child knows the safety rules walking to and from school

If someone wants to report child abuse or neglect, they can call the Child Abuse Hotline at 800-254-5500.

Volunteers gathered on Wednesday to help decorate the Stephens County Courthouse lawn to bring awareness to Child Abuse Awareness/Prevention Month. They are, (l to r) Shirley Brandenberger, Ruth and Jerry Taylor, Stephanee Russell, Sharon Wimberley, Paul Lippe, Linda Burdic, Sandy Broyles, Jim Davis and Jan Davis. Not pictured, Tommy Wimberley. (Photo by Tony Pilkington)

Click here to see more photos from Wednesday morning’s activity, in the Breckenridge Texan gallery.

Cutline, top photo: Volunteers (l to r) Jerry Taylor, Sharon Wimberley, Ruth Taylor, Sandy Burdic and Shirley Brandenberger put angels and pinwheels in place at the Stephens County Courthouse in honor of Child Abuse Awareness/Prevention Month on Wednesday morning.  (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

Story by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan









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