The number of child sex abuse reports are on the rise in Texoma. Newschannel 6 has learned that when high profile child sex abuse cases are in the media spotlight, more potential victims come forward. Right now we are covering the trial against Danny Richard Rivers Junior. He faces six counts of child sex assault related charges.
Sexual abuse is something nobody wants to think about, but 258 sexual abused Texoma children visited Patsy's House last year. Keri Goins, Executive Director at Patsy's House comments, "It's happening here in Wichita Falls and in our back yards. It's very important that we keep it in the forefront of our minds so that we can protect our children."
And protecting children is what Patsy's House does daily. Goins says raising awareness in Texoma's communities is helping to tackle the often never discussed issue of child sex abuse.
Goins adds, "Sexual abuse is a very secretive thing. Abusers make sure it's a secretive thing so that they have control over the child. The child often feels sometimes in danger to tell what's happened to them."
Goin's says 90 percent of the time in sexual abuse cases the perpetrator is some one the child will know, trust, or love. So ultimately Patsy's House works to educate parents on communicating with their children on what is right or wrong. Goins says, "In today's world with soccer, football, basketball, and track we are all really busy and around in a lot of places. There's a lot of people in our kids lives that they know and trust."
Pasty's House is also being proactive by going into schools and speaking with children. They are teaching them how to protect themselves from perpetrators. They are also letting them know if they have been sexually abused it is okay to tell. But the most important thing Patsy's House says parents need to be aware and protect their children. Goins comments, "Know who's in contact with your children. Keep a watchful eye and pay attention to your gut reaction because if something doesn't feel right, then it's probably not."
Patsy's House says younger children will show more symptoms of sexual abuse. Showing fear or wetting the bed are some signs to look for. Also, if your child is showing fear of being around a certain person or showing signs of over sexuallization, these could be symptoms of sexual abuse.
If you have any questions or to report child abuse you can contact Patsy's House at (940) 322 -8890. You can also call a 24-hour hotline number at one 1-800- 252 -5400.