As part of Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office held a press conference on Thursday morning where several partners joined to talk about the ways in which the community can work together to create awareness of child abuse and the important work these organizations do.
Braving the rainy weather, District Attorney Luis V. Saenz said to him it’s very important to create child abuse awareness because, as a prosecutor, he knows how traumatic it can be for children to be put on the stand.
“I always tell people, you as an adult, imagine yourself walking into a courtroom where the judge is sitting on a bench, and there’s 12 people looking at your every move you make, a gentleman with a gun over there from the Sheriff’s Office, … there’s two lawyers that are going to ask you questions,” he said.
“As an adult, that’s very traumatic and that’s very difficult to do. Now, imagine a 7-year-old little girl walking into that same courtroom.”
Partners at this event included the Children’s Advocacy Center of Cameron and Willacy Counties, Bikers Against Child Abuse, CASA, Friendship of Women and the Family Crisis Center.
Laura Reagan, executive director of Children’s Advocacy Center of Cameron and Willacy Counties, said it is important to have prevention and awareness of child abuse in the community and that she hopes one day there will be no need to have these events because there will be no more cases. Reagan said it is important for all the organizations to communicate for the benefit of the children.
Scott Fullerd, co-founder of the RGV Chapter of Bikers Against Child Abuse, said these programs are very needed in our community due to the high numbers of child abuse. He said everybody in this organization is a volunteer who has passed federal and state background checks as well as demanding training to be able to help the children who need it.
“Simply put, we are there so they don’t feel afraid. That fear can come in a lot of different ways, sometimes they are afraid that somebody is going to come get them at night,” he said.