One With Courage Campaign Launched

Eastland, Texas–August 10, 2010–The Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas, Inc. (CACTX) announced the launch of the One With Courage campaign today. One With Courage is a statewide public awareness campaign about child sexual abuse.

“We are so proud to be part of this campaign and excited that campaign launch day has arrived,” said Glenn D. Stockard, Executive Director of the Eastland County Crises Center, Inc. and the Eastland County Children’s Advocacy Center. “The Public Service Announcements are airing on television stations here and across Texas beginning today.”

One With Courage is the first public awareness campaign of its kind in the state of Texas, centered around the courage it takes to talk about child sexual abuse–the courage it takes child victims to come forward and talk about their abuse and the courage it takes adults to talk about the issue, learn the signs and report abuse when it is suspected.

“This campaign aims to inspire the courage required to take action against child sexual abuse, whether it be starting a dialogue about the issue, equipping adults with the knowledge needed to recognize the signs of abuse, or volunteering at a local children’s advocacy center,” said Stockard. “I encourage everyone to learn more by visiting the website, www.onewithcourage.org.”

The One With Courage campaign aims to educate Texans about the signs of sexual abuse, dispel generally accepted “myths” about this issue and provide communities with specific steps they can take to make a difference in a child’s life.

“The campaign includes public service announcements for television and radio airing statewide, along with internet and print advertising. There are many opportunities in our own community to spread the word,” said Stockard.

There are 64 children’s advocacy centers in Texas, serving 158 counties. The centers represent formalized partnerships with law enforcement, child protective services, prosecutors, medical and mental health professionals and others who agree to work together to effectively investigate child abuse cases and coordinate the delivery of vital services to child abuse victims and their families.

To learn more about the One With Courage campaign, visit www.onewithcourage.org.

To learn more about how you can be One With Courage, call the Eastland County Children’s Advocacy Center at 254-629-8229 or e-mail <a href="mailto:info@victim-services.net">info@victim-services.net</a>

One With Courage is brought to you in part by:

******************************************

As Attorney General of Texas, protecting Texas’ children has been one of my top priorities.  We have launched new initiatives to crack down on cyber predators that use the internet to prey upon young Texans and we created a Fugitive Unit to arrest parole violating sex offenders–but there is still more work to be done.

Despite what a combination of state, local and federal authorities have done to protect young Texans, too many children fall victim to sexual abuse–and too few of these young victims come forward to report their abuser.

But there is hope.  Together, we can combat child sexual abuse–and the secrecy that enables it–by ensuring that Texas communities are prepared and empowered to combat this horrific crime.  In an effort to improve knowledge and communication about sexual abuse, the Texas Attorney General’s Office is partnering  with Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas, Inc. to raise awareness about their “One With Courage” campaign.

Why “One With Courage”? Because it takes tremendous courage for young victims to come forward and talk about suffering from abuse.  It takes courage for adults to listen to a child’s horrendous experiences.  And, it will take courage for Texans to engage in an open dialogue about child sexual abuse.  We must all learn the signs of abuse so that we can recognize it and identify abusers.  By working together, we can help eradicate child abuse from our communities.

Each year, thousands of Texas children seek refuge and start down the path to recovery at one of the more than 60 children’s advocacy centers across our state.  At thee critically important centers, children find the safety, comfort, and support they need to summon the courage to cry out–and stop the abuse.

Although many children have come forward and shared the hard truth in the safety of a Child Advocacy Center, too many others live in fear and do not know how to reveal their suffering.  As adults, we cannot possibly expect children to have the courage to talk about abuse if we do not have the courage to openly discuss this horrific problem.  To help bridge the communication divide, Children’s Advocacy Center of Texas is launching the “One With Courage” campaign, which will educate our fellow Texans about the signs of child sexual abuse, dispel generally accepted “myths” about this issue and provide communities with specific steps they can take to make a difference with a child’s life.

The Texas Attorney General’s Office is providing support to “One With Courage” through a crime victim’s compensation fund that is designed to provide funding for the child abuse prevention.  But for this program to succeed, we need each and every Texan to step forward, to help us bring abuse out of the shadows and into the daylight.  If we stay focused and work collaboratively, we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of the thousands of young Texans who are being abused.  Together we can spread a message of courage and hope.  Like these little victims, we must all be One with Courage…

Sincerely,

Greg Abbott
Attorney General of Texas