UNITED WAY OF SAN ANTONIO AND BEXAR COUNTY
The ugly truth about child abuse in Texas:*
- Today, 185 Texas children will be victims of abuse.
- In one year, more than 65,000 cases of child abuse were confirmed in Texas.
- 1 in 4 girls is sexually abused before her 18th birthday.
- 1 in 6 boys is sexually abused before his 18th birthday.
- 95% know their perpetrator.
- 25% were not old enough to attend kindergarten.
The ugly truth about child abuse in San Antonio:**
- There were 4,550 confirmed cases of child abuse and neglect reported last year.
- This represents the fourth highest number of reported cases in the State of Texas.
- 10 children in Bexar County died from physical abuse in 2016.
These are staggering statistics as we begin April as National Child Abuse and Prevention Month. Child abuse and neglect often have lifelong implications for victims. While the physical wounds heal, there are long-term consequences of experiencing the trauma of abuse or neglect.
Children who are maltreated often are at risk of experiencing cognitive delays and emotional difficulties, among other issues. Childhood trauma also negatively affects nervous system and immune system development, putting children who have been maltreated at a higher risk for health problems as adults.
I am chairing The Bexar County Children’s Agenda, that is working to grow happy, healthy, ready children. We are reviewing local data and have completed a needs assessment and scorecard, focusing on the needs of young children age birth to eight years old (3rd grade). Over 140 leaders and stakeholders met last October and a working group of some 50 people has been meeting weekly to devise strategies and solutions that will significantly improve children’s lives and “move the needle” on the data. On April 21, the Agenda will be announced at a breakfast at the Pearl Stables for the community’s endorsement. We will also announce a new grant award and the new www.ReadyKidSA.com website.
A child or youth’s ability to cope and even thrive after trauma is called “resilience,” and with the help of several United Way-funded nonprofit partners, many of these children can work through and overcome their past experiences.
These agencies and organizations, among others, are working to prevent, overcome and reverse San Antonio’s jarring statistics and improve the lives of our children and have been actively engaged in building the Bexar County Children’s Agenda for the past six months. Please join me in thanking them for their commitment to our very young children.
- Any Baby Can*
- Autism Community Network*
- Boys Town*
- Brighton School of San Antonio/Brighton Center*
- Catholic Charities of San Antonio*
- The Center for Health Care Services
- Child Protective Services
- The Children’s Shelter*
- City of San Antonio (COSA)– City Manager’s Office; Child Care Services; Dept. of Human Services; Head Start; and PreK 4 SA
- Clarity Child Guidance Center*
- Communities in Schools*
- Family Service Association of San Antonio*
- Family Violence Prevention Services*
- Good Samaritan Community Services*
- Linton Elementary (NISD)
- P16Plus Council of Greater Bexar County
- Senator Carlos Uresti District 19
- United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County- Children’s Issue Council; Dual Generation Initiative; Eastside Promise Neighborhood, ReadyKidSA Coalition
- Voices for Children
- Worksource Solutions Alamo
*indicates United Way Partner Agency
We have but one life. To live better, we must Live United.
2016-2017 Chairman, United Way Board of Trustees
President, The Harvey E. Najim Family Foundation