April is a month of shedding light on several issues including child abuse prevention. Dozens joined together and wore blue to raise awareness to this ongoing issue while listening from those who were personally affected.
“It was a very unstable childhood,” Foster youth Makenzie Bardone told KTSM.
From moving back and forth, living in five different states, nineteen year old Bardone shared the struggles of her life growing up and how she got saved, “I was with a family who really cared for me, helped me and loved me. They adopted my daughter for me, so I can still stay with her. I get to see her.”
The Texas Department of Family and Protective services in El Paso raised awareness to child abuse prevention by sharing statistics, releasing blue balloons.
City Representative Henry Rivera also attended the event by presenting the El Paso city proclamation for child abuse prevention.
According to the agency, there were 1,639 confirmed victims of child abuse and neglect reported from last year. However, there were 1,884 youth were served under prevention programs with the department.
“They’re giving us a home, food and clothing. They take care of us. It’s not just the necessities like the material things. It’s the love and the care that are also necessities too,” Bardone added.
Bardone is one of many youth that sets the example to speak out and reach for help – by sharing her story for the community to hear, “Right now our minds are developing. We really need this, it’s a necessity to have a family unit.
There will be a resolution presented on Tuesday at the El Paso County Commissioners court for child abuse prevention month.
DFPS Prevention Hotlines and Websites:
Child Abuse Prevention: HelpAndHope.org
Infant Sleeping Death Prevention: BabyRoomToBreathe.org
Texas Youth Hotline: TexasYouth.org