Keri Goins, the executive director of Patsy's House Children's Advocacy Center said, "Child sexual abuse is now three times more common than autism and it's 7.5 times more common than childhood cancer." Along with that, statistics report that about one in four girls and one in seven boys will be sexually abused by the time they turn 18 years old.
In 2011, Wichita County alone reported 1,302 child abuse cases. "No one wants to think about children being sexually abused, physically abused, neglected... That's not something we ever want to think about. But really not looking and thinking about the numbers is a disservice to our children," said Goins.
April is Child Abuse Awareness Month. It's also when Patsy's House holds its largest annual fundraiser.
"We have a saying at Patsy's House that we can't change what happens to children, but we can change what happens next, and donors can absolutely change what happens next in these children's lives by supporting Patsy's House."
The Texoma non-profit organization places one pinwheel for each child abuse case in Wichita Falls in the Patterson Honda's lawn. It costs $20 to remove one pinwheel and Patsy's House's goal is to remove every last one of the pinwheels.
Time is running out, however, as April and Child Abuse Awareness Month comes to a close on Monday, April 30. Unfortunately, there are still more than 800 pinwheels spinning on site.
In one final push to the end of the awareness month, Patsy's House is ending the fundraiser Monday, April 30 with a rare open house. It's a special opportunity for Texomans to meet and greet with some of Texoma's very own heroes who combat child predators. These special forces work together, hand in hand, fighting for child victims in Wichita County on a daily basis.
Keri Goins told Newschannel 6, "Patsy's House in Wichita Falls is really unique for a children's advocacy center, because we do have law enforcement, (and) CPS housed in the building full-time."
With police and Child Protective Services representatives conducting business under the same roof - working together in one location - the team is solving imperative child victim cases and successfully putting predators behind bars and off the streets.
The event: Patsy's House Open House
When: Monday, April 30
Time: 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Where: Patsy's House
Location: 1411 Tenth Street, Wichita Falls, TX 76301
Tours of Patsy's House will be available. It's also a chance for the public to come out and meet some heroes such as law enforcement officials who respond to crimes against kids!
For additional information about the event or Patsy's House, check out the non-profit's Facebook page or consult the attached images.