Tuesday, August 17, 2010

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Attorney General Abbott, Children's Advocacy Centers of Texas Launch Campaign To Fight Child Sexual Abuse

HOUSTON – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today partnered with Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas (CACTX) to launch “One With Courage,” a public service campaign that will help raise awareness and prevent children from being sexually abused. “One With Courage” is centered on the courage it takes for a child victim to come forward and inform loved ones about the abuse. The initiative also acknowledges that courageous adults can help protect young Texans by learning to discuss the issue, learn the signs and recognize abuse.

“Informed, proactive communities all across Texas can show real courage by learning to identify and report sexual abuse against children to authorities,” Attorney General Abbott said. “It takes tremendous courage for child abuse victims to come forward and report the trauma they have suffered at the hands of the criminals who abuse them. The Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas’ ‘One With Courage’ public service campaign will help inspire Texans to learn the signs of child sexual abuse – and what to do to protect innocent children from painful suffering and abuse.”

Through radio, television and Internet public service announcements, the “One With Courage” campaign will educate Texans about the signs of child sexual abuse. The campaign will also dispel generally accepted “myths” about the issue and provide Texas communities with specific steps they can take to make a difference in a child’s life.

Most importantly, the campaign aims to inspire all Texans to have the courage to prevent child sexual abuse. Whether it involves starting a dialogue with a child victim, teaching others to recognize the signs of abuse or volunteering at a local children’s advocacy center (CAC), all Texans can help prevent children from continuing to suffer. Each CAC offers a safe, nonthreatening environment that is designed to address each child victim’s specific needs during a very difficult time. The officials who need to know – law enforcement and child protection officers, medical professionals, prosecutors and others – get critically important information from a child victim during a single session. By allowing children to tell their story one time in one location, CACs spare victims the pain of re-living the agony and trauma of the crimes committed against them.

The Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund, which is administered by the Attorney General’s Office, awarded CACTX an Other Victim Assistance Grant of $220,000 each fiscal year for 2010 and 2011. CACTX used the award to establish the “One With Courage” campaign.

To learn more about the “One With Courage” campaign, visit www.onewithcourage.org.