This week I'll start with a story about a little three-year-old girl. We'll call her Katie. Back in 2004, a man she should have been able to trust, beat her with a golf club, a belt, threw her into a wall and then locked her in a closet before he left for work that morning....leaving Katie partially paralyzed. That's tough to hear especially for someone who has a three-year-old at home like I do, but it happened right here in Lubbock.
You may remember the story...Katie's mother's boyfriend got life in prison for what he did to her. It was described as the worst case of child abuse local authorities had ever seen and little Katie will never be the same. What's more, I was shocked last week when I learned Lubbock has the highest rate of child abuse and neglect in the entire state.
Our courts are having trial after trial, to decide not just what happens to these scumbags, but what happens to the innocent children like Katie, who have no one to speak for them? That's why CASA, or Court Appointed Special Advocates, serve as the voices in court for these abused children. These are volunteers that research the cases and help make good decisions that will effect these children for the rest of their lives. But CASA is in crisis...right now they are serving 793 children in our area. Almost half of those kids do not have a CASA volunteer, and at this time they can't accept any new cases.
So consider this...if you think child abuse doesn't affect you, you couldn't be more wrong. It may not be in your home, or on your block, but child abuse is a problem that affects all of us. When a child suffers, we all suffer. There are three ways you can make a difference to abused and neglected children like Katie, and countless others in need on the South Plains...
You can do any of these things by contacting the United Way of Lubbock's office at 747-2711. Katie is almost six now, and nothing can change what happened to her two years ago, but we can all help her have a better life.
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