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Abilene police chief: 36 cases of child abuse investigated in March alone

“It makes me uncomfortable talking about these talking points, but that is exactly what we have to do during this month,” said Standridge. (Courtesy: Abilene Police Department)

ABILENE, Texas — April is Child Abuse Awareness Month and Police Chief Stan Standridge wants you to be aware that we have a child abuse problem in Abilene.

Standridge shared some alarming statistics during a news conference Tuesday morning.

“It makes me uncomfortable talking about these talking points, but that is exactly what we have to do during this month,” said Standridge.

In March alone, the Taylor County Child Advocacy Center conducted 36 forensic interviews.

The majority of the 36 cases investigated in March -- 22 -- involved sexual abuse. Ten were children who were physically abused. Three witnessed violent crime and one child was the victim of an attempted abduction.

Standridge highlighted four of the more horrific cases:

- A preschool child’s hands were held under hot water until her skin came off.

- A preschool child was hit in the face with a belt.

- An adult family member forced a child to perform oral sex.

- Multiple victims were sexually abused over a 20-year span.

In all 36 cases, the victim knew the suspect – meaning none were cases of “stranger danger.”

The suspects – according to Standridge -- are moms (4), dads (4), stepmoms (2), boyfriends (2), a stepbrother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin, grandmother, unrelated household members known to the victim (2), a school employee and a neighbor.

“The reality is these offenders are typically in the home or in the immediate context of neighborhood,” Standridge said. “We are seeing almost 100 percent of the time our child abuse victims know their offenders by name.”

Here are some important numbers to report abuse:

Child Advocacy Center — (325) 738-8060

Adult Protective Services — (325) 795-5755

Child Protective Services — (325) 691-8100

Adult/Child Protective Services — (800) 252-5400

“Everybody is going to have to be involved in this fight,” said Standridge.


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