West Texas leads state in reported child abuse cases

Published: Apr. 8, 2022 at 8:52 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Lubbock is now leading the state for the most reported child abuse cases, surpassing Abilene, part of a high rate reported all across West Texas.

Texas itself has one of the highest reported rates of abuse in the nation.

Just last year 970 children were reported victims of abuse, which is only 12 more than the previous year. Amy Thompson, CEO of Covenant Children’s Hospital, said half of those children were under the age of five.

“Kids that are truly helpless and very much not able to defend themselves,” Thompson said.

The number of reported cases is still one of the lowest in 10 years, which experts tie to the pandemic.

In the past 10 years, There have been more than 11,000 confirmed victims of child abuse on the South Plains.

22 of them died, with four deaths last year.

Experts tell us many of the adults causing harm either witnessed or experienced violence themselves.

“This has got to be something that we we speak about, and learn how to get help for those people so that we don’t continue that cycle of child abuse. We do call it a cycle, because it continues to happen,” Thompson said.

One way to stop the cycle is to be the voice for the voiceless, especially infants, who are seven times more likely to be victims of abuse.

“If you have more than four bruises that you see on a kid, that’s a kid that I would at least have some questions and watch closely, and make sure that you’re not missing some signs of child abuse. Our slogan is, if you can’t cruise, you can’t bruise. If they’re not walking and crawling around and you see bruises, that should very much have cause for concern,” Thompson said.

If you would like to donate or help, a nonprofit serving children, Foster A Life is hosting a home run Saturday morning at the LHUCA studio. In addition to the optional run, there will be carnival activities and food trucks. Onsight registration is $15 starting at 8 a.m.

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