Community organizations are coming together at 5:30 p.m. today for the annual Stop the Silence, Paint the Town Blue, event at the Cowboy Capital Walk of Fame on the square.
The event is to help raise awareness against child abuse, sexual assault and other violent crimes. In 2014, three million people experienced at least one violent victimization - according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
“One of the reasons why this is so special is that it provides an opportunity for survivors in the community to recognize that the community supports them and wants to give them a voice to make the community a safer place,” said Jodee Lucero, CEO of Cross Timbers Family Services.
“No Excuse for Child Abuse” seems like a phrase that wouldn’t need to be uttered often, but unfortunately a report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds nationally - and that’s not including the cases that go unreported, according to the Childhelp’s website.
“Specifically with sexual assaults and various acts of child abuse the victims are embarrassed and don’t speak up. These are crimes that breed secrecy. We hope with Stop the Silence, to actually stop the silence," Whitney White, councilor at STARRY Counseling, said. "We’re here to help with this, each agency involved has something unique they can offer to help. This is a community conversation and these are community issues and we want to bring an end to these issues."
The key organizers of the event are: STARRY Counseling, CASA for the Cross Timbers Area, Inc., Stephenville Police Department, Cross Timber Family Services, Juvenile Probation, and Paluxy River Children’s Advocacy Center.
“I think all the community collaboration between the organizations is beneficial to our community,” Lucero said. “Having all these organizations that provide services to victims of these crimes. We all have a great working relationship.”
The guest speaker will be Michael Guinn of Fort Worth who will do something a little different, recite slam poetry.
In the event of inclement weather, the Stop the Silence event will be moved to the Courthouse Annex.