ABILENE, TX — Child advocacy experts said that child abuse happens more often in the summer.
Monica Reid is a clinical director and counselor
“Have worked with a lot of youth I mean hundreds of children,” Reid said.
She said she sees victims every day at the Abilene Regional Victim Crisis Center.
“These kids are heroes that endure this but also they have a lot of strength and resilience,” Reid said.
She said that In 2017, nearly 350 Abilene children were interviewed for abuse and about 75% of those cases being sexual abuse. The summer is usually a high-risk time.
“During the summer there’s just more access to children and people that will be abusive will have more opportunity. Unfortunately, kids are home a lot, ” Reid said.
Reid strongly believes in teaching children about boundaries early on.
“Learning about their body, learning about safety, that they have special rights to say no to adults to anything that feels scary or uncomfortable, ” Reid said.
She added that it’s important to recognize the signs of abuse.
“Wearing long sleeves if there’s bruising if there’s changes in behavior if there’s regressed behaviors getting clingy, not wanting to be away. And of course, if they say anything happened to believe them, stay calm and report that, ” Reid said.
Reid hopes adults will do what they can to protect children.
“I don’t think they have voting rights they don’t have a voice, they don’t have a lot of people advocating for them, ” Reid said.
She said in Texas everyone is a mandated reporter.
Child abuse can be reported at 1-800-252-5400.