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Apr 10 2012

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Preventing abuse

The Martin House Childrens’ Advocacy Center of Gregg and Harrison counties serves East Texas as a non-profit facility dedicated to helping victims, aged 3 to 17, of abuse. Children who have been mistreated and their non-offending relatives can receive counseling and referral services at no cost. The Center also works with law enforcement, child protective services, prosecutors, nurses and various counselors in its quest to eradicate child abuse.
It is now moving forward again.
With April being set aside as “Child Abuse Prevention Month” the Center is inviting the public to a “Raising Hope” event at the Gregg County Courthouse at noon on April 19. Following this function the Martin Center will hold an open house from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at its location at 606 West Garfield Dr., Suite D. On April 25 the event will be held a second time, this time at the Harrison County Courthouse at noon in downtown Marshall. In both events local children’s choirs and dignitaries will perform and speak, offering their messages of hope and healing for East Texas’ less fortunate children.
Child abuse remains a serious problem in East Texas, with thousands of little ones being mistreated and neglected annually. Research has established than on average one out of four girls and one out of six boys will be sexually abused before turning 18. In 2011 the Martin Center alone assisted 384 children. Executive Director Roxanne Stevenson pointed out the serious nature of this problem and the additional difficulties it creates for victims.
“It takes tremendous courage for a child to tell someone he or she is being abused,” she said. “In the majority of sexual abuse cases, children are molested by someone they love or trust, making it even more difficult for victims to talk about what’s happening to them. When children are ready to talk, though, we’re here to help them.”
For more information on the Martin House and the upcoming events, please call (903) 807-0189.

Roxanne Stevenson

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