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3 Lubbock County children abused or neglected each day

Updated: Jan. 9, 2020 at 6:50 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The Children’s Advocacy Center of the South Plains says the number of child abuse cases in Lubbock County adds up to three a day.

The organization works with law enforcement and the Department of Family and Protective Services to coordinate the investigation and prosecution of severe child abuse cases in the region.

Derek Danner, the executive director of the Children’s Advocacy Center of the South Plains, said they handled 5,370 cases of alleged child abuse from Lubbock and the surrounding 14 counties in 2018, with a total of 1,540 confirmed victims.

Lubbock County alone accounted for 3,741 of those alleged victims and 1,126 confirmed victims. That comes out to a little more than three children per day.

Danner said we don’t hear about most of them until we get a tragic case like the death of 10-month-old Marion Jester-Montoya, found dead Tuesday after being stuffed in a backpack.

“But it’s all these other 1,126 confirmed victims in 2018,” Danner said, “many of those no one knows about, but those were cases and those were kids affected by abuse and neglect.”

Danner said it’s hard to tell why Lubbock County’s numbers are so high. He said if they could figure it out, maybe they could find better ways to prevent this abuse.

“Instead of being reactive, we just need to all become proactive and try to take care of our kids,” Danner said.

Danner said child abuse comes in many forms. He said it’s not just child death investigations or severe physical abuse, but it’s also lack of utilities in a home, food or cleanliness.

Danner said we’re all required to report if we suspect child abuse.

“Whether you’re intimately involved with family or just a bystander that you see something that’s alarming to you,” Danner said.

If you see a child in trouble, you can report concerns at 1-800-252-5400.

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