Remembering the ones lost, Go Blue Day honors victims of child abuse

Published 12:00 pm Monday, April 8, 2019

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


A threat of rain may have moved the location, but it did not stop residents, elected officials, city and county employees from attending Go Blue Day at the Lutcher Theater on Friday.

“As a District Attorney, I don’t see positive uplifting things,” Orange County District Attorney John Kimbrough said. “I am grateful to this community.”

Kimbrough said the shoes came in like rain.

Orange County District Attorney’s Office, with Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce, held a shoe drive to replenish the Rainbow Room at Child Protective Services (CPS).

The Rainbow Room is a place CPS caseworkers can get needed clothing, shoes, or even wipes for a child who has been removed from it’s home. Many times the children only have the clothes on their back.

“I am so happy to see the community come together,” Assistant District Attorney Krispen Walker said. “We see a lot of sadness in our job. Many people do not know one of the good things is we get to help people. This is one of those opportunities.”

Walker added she knew this was a great community.

“I am not sure of the exact number of pairs of shoes but It is well over 400 pairs,” Walker said. “Kids should be playing ball, playing in the park or running around.”

The DA’s office also received cash donations to help Rainbow Room.

Children with Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club also brought a box of shoes to the Chamber to help benefit the shoe drive.

“Some of the children came to deliver the shoes,” Walker said. “One of the girls used her birthday money to buy shoes for the children. Lots of good stories came out of this.”

One man pointed out the community had recently lost two children to abuse.

“It is not just the children who are victims,” Walker said. “It is the family, grandparents, as well.

Each year, 40,000 children receive critical services at one of over 60 children’s advocacy centers in Texas. Of the total number of children served last year, 74-percent were involved in sexual abuse cases, 99-percent knew their perpetrator and 27-percent were not old enough to attend kindergarten.

Suspect Physical Abuse When You See:

  • Frequent injuries such as bruises, cuts, black eyes, or burns without adequate explanations
  • Frequent complaints of pain without obvious injury
  • Burns or bruises in unusual patterns that may indicate the use of an instrument or human bite; cigarette burns on any part of the body
  • Lack of reaction to pain
  • Aggressive, disruptive, and destructive behavior
  • Passive, withdrawn, and emotionless behavior
  • Fear of going home or seeing parents
  • Injuries that appear after a child has not been seen for several days
  • Unreasonable clothing that may hide injuries to arms or legs

Suspect Neglect When You See:

  • Obvious malnourishment
  • Lack of personal cleanliness
  • Torn or dirty clothing
  • Stealing or begging for food
  • Child unattended for long periods of time
  • Need for glasses, dental care, or other medical attention
  • Frequent tardiness or absence from school

Texas has both civil and criminal laws to protect children from abuse and neglect. If you suspect that a child is being abused or neglected, the law requires that you report it. [Texas Family Code Section 261.101 (a)]

To report suspected child abuse by phone call 1-800-252-5400