Updated 07/31/2012 09:10 AM
New statewide child abuse ads aim for prevention
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The ads are dark and dramatic, but so is the topic of child abuse.
Thousands of Texas children were removed from abusive environments last year. It’s a stark statistic that sparked the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to launch a new campaign called "Help and Hope."
"What we want to do is target parents who may be mistreating their children or may feel like they get to that point," Julie Moody with the Department of Family and Protective Services said.
It's one of the biggest child abuse and prevention campaigns ever in Texas, paid for by a federal grant of more than $2.5 million and coordinating dozens of public and private agencies.
"Campaigns like this are so important because they're really asking the public to get involved," Joy Rauls with Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas said. "We really owe it to the children in our community and in our lives to be courageous."
The goal is to reach parents before they become abusive.
"They may recognize some of their own behaviors, and then they can also say, 'You know what, there's help out there,'" Moody said. "It's one of those things that, all of a sudden, you're like, 'Oh my gosh, that's me.'"
The Help and Hope website is filled with advice and resources for overwhelmed parents.
"There are resources in our community to help families in need. What we don't want is more children abused and neglected," Moody said. "That's the most important message--is that there is help out there and you just need to call."
For more information on the program, visit their web site at HelpAndHope.org. In addition to help for stressed-out parents, there are also ways to get involved to help fight child abuse in your community.