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Balloon release memorial to child abuse victims
ORANGE COUNTY - Every year at this time, at courthouses in the region and across the state, balloons are released into the sky to remember young victims of abuse and neglect.
Those who work such cases say no matter how many times they begin an investigation, the pain of dealing with child deaths never eases.
It comes into focus during Child Abuse Prevention Month in April.
The Department of Family and Protective Services calls it a dark side of humanity.
The agency says child abuse destroys families, scars lives, and weakens our community.
Staff members came together this afternoon in front of the administration building at the Orange County Courthouse to release balloons in memory of Texas children who died last year as a direct result of abuse and neglect.
230 blue balloons and 1 orange balloon dotted the sky, each one representing a life lost.
The orange balloon was for the one child from Orange who died.
Shari Pulliam with Child Protective Services says protecting children is a community responsibility.
"Education is the key to prevention. If we don't educate the community on what they need to do to report child abuse and neglect, sometimes people just don't know, they think it's not their business. It's everyone's business. It's all of our business to protect the children in our community. It'd be a wonderful goal not to have to do a balloon release. I think that's pretty far off in the future, maybe never, but if we didn't have to release any balloons here today, it'd be a great day for CPS."
The Department of Family and Protective Services says everyone can fight child abuse.
If you suspect someone is hurting a child, call the Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-800-252-5400.