'One with Courage' reporting child abuse

It's a nation wide epidemic, in Texas alone over 60,000 cases of child abuse were confirmed by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services last year alone.

Now, another tool in fighting child abuse, this time a 30 second public service announcement with a very strong message.

Elizabeth Shull, Executive Director of the Cameron County Children's Advocacy Center tells Action 4 News, "We want to capture people's attention."

The PSA entitled "One with Courage" will broadcast through out the state of Texas.

Shull says, "It's talking about children having that courage it takes one child, adult to be able to go out there and say this type of abuse is going on."

Special guests including Senator Eddie Lucio Jr. and Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos gathered inside Maggie's House Monday night to promote the new campaign.

Senator Lucio says, "One with courage is taking a huge step towards eliminating abuse in our state."

But there's still a lot of work to be done in order to protect innocent children.

Senator Lucio says, "According to Child Protective Services there are over 6,000 combined confirmed allegations of child sexual abuse cases in Texas and that's a travesty obviously."

For Cameron County District Attorney Armando Villalobos the cases are all too familiar.

Villalobos says, These cases don't go away unfortunately we see them everyday and we see them in pretty tragic events because they normally families perpetrators are normally an uncle...fathers.."

Child Advocacy groups hope the "One With Courage Campaign" will give people the courage to open up a stop abuse, but it starts with everyone taking an active role.

Executive Director Elizabeth Shull says, "We need to listen to these kids and as adults it's our responsibility to protect them."

One of the first steps in preventing child abuse starts by reporting it.

The Texas Child Abuse Neglect Hotline is 1-800-252-5400. The line is open 24 hours a day seven days a week.