With the Stop the Silence rally just days away, members of the Paluxy River Children’s Advocacy Center, Cross Timbers Family Services and the Erath County Juvenile Probation office were out Monday morning placing blue pinwheels, ribbons and “no excuse for child abuse” signs around the Erath County Courthouse.
The event will take place at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Cowboy Capital Plaza and is a group effort aimed at raising awareness against child abuse, sexual assault and other violent crimes.
“In the past organizations use to do small little events and then several of us decided to have one big event, so with the help of many organizations Stop the Silence was created,” said CTFS community development coordinator Silvia Zamora. “It was created to raise awareness and remember those who have suffered and serve as a reminder to continue the important work and help children, men and women stay strong. Together I think we can create a safe, healthy environment for our community.”
The event will feature guests speakers, which will include Mayor Kenny Weldon and District Attorney Alan Nash.
“Stop the Silence is an important event because it allows all the area agencies and service organizations to show how united we are in the fight against child abuse, sexual assault and other crimes,” said Sgt. Sha King with the Stephenville Police Department. “We are dedicated to bringing awareness to the community on these subjects and by bringing awareness we can let victims know that they are not alone and that there are people who will stand up and speak out for them.”
Jody Lee Caudle with Texas Home Grown Radio will be the event’s emcee and there will be booths, games, prizes, face painting and more going on for the rally.
“A lot of organizations from around town are going to have booths set up with information on what they have to offer and then we’re also going to have games for children,” Zamora said.
Community members are invited to make signs and are encouraged to wear blue for the event in honor of Child Abuse Prevention Month.
“This group of organizations really presents a great opportunity for citizens to get involved. For a subject like child abuse, especially child sexual abuse, it is not until the public is educated and empowered to speak out and to each other that we will ever see a decrease in the numbers,” said PRCAC Executive Director Kerrie Stannell. “It is such a taboo subject to so many and one where the victim is unlikely to tell, that we need everybody to pitch in, learn the signs and symptoms of abuse and not be afraid to report. Children need adults to be their voice.”
The child abuse hotline to report is 1-800-252-5400.
In an attempt to further the message, the PRCAC will be hold its annual Blue Bolt Color 5K, 10K and Family Fun Run fundraiser event from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. Saturday at Hewlett Park in Granbury.