Athens Review, Athens, Texas

April 3, 2013

Stop, look & listen

Poignant ceremony kicks off Child Abuse Awareness Month

Kathi Nailling
The Athens Review

ATHENS — Henderson County Judge Richard Sanders signed two proclamations Tuesday on the south side of the Henderson County Courthouse once again declaring April as Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

T-shirts hung around the courthouse representing children who have been abused in Henderson County.  

Sanders was joined by a large crowd that included officials from the  Henderson County District Attorney’s Office, County Attorney’s Office, Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, various children’s advocate groups and elected officials to commemorate the month.

Sanders recognized many of the volunteers in the crowd. Donna Johnson, director of the East Texas Crisis Center, said, “The day would not be possible without all the volunteers to come out to help.”

Johnson, who offered statistics about abuse in this county, said, “In the first two months of this year we have already seen 15 sexual assault cases. That is just two months.” Johnson said it takes everyone’s involvement to stop the abuse.

A number of events have been planned in recognition of Child Abuse Awareness Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

CASA of Trinity Valley will be hosting a 5K Fun Run on Saturday, April 20. This year there will be three races — a 5K, Kids 1K and an adult 1K Walk. For information about the event, contact CASA at 903-675-7070.

April 30 has been designated “Go Blue Day.” Go Blue Day is in support of child abuse prevention efforts. Organizers hope to turn Henderson County Blue on April 30. To be a part of this effort, T-shirts are available for purchase for $10 for regular sizes and $13 for extra large sizes at the  District Attorney’s Office.

The East Texas Crisis Center will hold its first “Walk A Mile In Her Shoes” event on June 1. There is an old saying, “You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.”

According to Johnson the event will be held at the square in Athens.  Walk A Mile literally asked men to walk in women’s high heel shoes for sexual  assault awareness. This will be the first year for this event. Johnson said, “We hope to make this an annual event.”