For those of you who know me, I am very seldom at a loss for words. My mind and mouth click pretty fast and I’ll admit that I can usually have a quick comeback – either witty (if appropriate) or heartfelt.
But when I heard about the two toddlers who had been chained and tied outside like animals in Bexar County … I couldn’t form any words. I couldn’t enunciate one single syllable. Inside there were four more – ages ranging 10 months to 13 years – with no adult supervision.
This was coming during National Child Abuse Prevention Month and a successful online auction for our local CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate).
These children were treated worse than most animals in abusive situations. Thank goodness for alert neighbors who heard the children crying and called the authorities to report what they heard.
Which brings up this point. When do you call? When is it your business? It is always your business. You should call your local agencies or the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services 1-800-252-5400.
In fact if you don’t, you would be committing a crime.
From the website – Texas law says anyone who thinks a child, or person 65 years or older, or an adult with disabilities is being abused, neglected, or exploited must report it to DFPS. A person who reports abuse in good faith is immune from civil or criminal liability. DFPS keeps the name of the person making the report confidential. Anyone who does not report suspected abuse can be held liable for a misdemeanor or felony. Time frames for investigating reports are based on the severity of the allegations. Reporting suspected abuse makes it possible for a family to get help.
The way I see it, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Call it in. These children just may have a chance because someone cared.
SUE BROWN is the editor of the Pleasanton Express. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or write at P.O. Drawer 880, Pleasanton, TX 78064.