The Bridge Over Troubled Waters Recognizes Child Abuse Prevention Month
PASADENA, TX – April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.
The Bridge Over Troubled Waters (The Bridge) Recognizes Child Abuse Prevention Month by lighting up their building in blue.
Many people think The Bridge is only a domestic violence crisis center, but child abuse prevention and domestic violence cannot be separated. In 2019, Texas had 242,103 child abuse and neglect investigations through the Department of Family & Protective Services. Of that number, there were 235 fatalities due to abuse and or neglect in Texas in 2019.
Domestic violence does not just affect the adult but also the child. In homes of family violence, the rate of child abuse or neglect is 15 times higher. Not only are the children at risk of being physically injured by trying to protect their caretaker, but the effects are also long-lasting due to the emotional and psychological damage done by witnessing or hearing the abuse of their loved one.
Federal Legislation Offers Guidance
Federal legislation offers guidance to States by identifying a minimum set of acts or behaviors that define child abuse and neglect. The Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (C.A.P.T.A.) (42 U.S.C.A. § 5106g), as amended by the C.A.P.T.A. Reauthorization Act of 2010, defines child abuse and neglect as, at lowest:
- “Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker, which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation”; or
- “An act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.”
This classification of child abuse and neglect refers specifically to parents and other caregivers. A “child” under this definition generally means a person who is younger than age 18 or who is not an emancipated minor.
In 2019, Child Protective Services (C.P.S.) heightened how it works with and engages families when domestic violence is a safety and risk factor. C.P.S. created the Domestic Violence Best Practice Resource Guide and nine web-based domestic violence training videos. These resources focus on effective practice and address common challenges.
C.P.S. released the first of these web-based training in 2019 and released additional pieces of training every other month in 2020 to provide ongoing education on the subject.
In 2020 Harris County found 4,638 investigations determined to have a ‘reason to believe’ abuse and neglect. Do not overlook or ignore the signs of child abuse. Help us light up the city in blue to stand against Child Maltreatment and Neglect. Be the voice of change in a child’s life.
In 1978 The Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Inc. was established in Pasadena, Texas. The Bridge is a comprehensive crisis center that offers support, provides safety, and works to prevent domestic and sexual violence and an extensive children program. If you need help or have questions, call The Bridge Hot Line at 713-473-2801.