Walk of Knowledge Shines Light on Child Abuse

Walk of Knowledge Shines Light on Child Abuse

One thousand, four hundred and eight shoes.

Each pair representing a victim of child abuse.

Each lace and buckle a line in a tragedy set in Wichita County, the County Courthouse lawn it's jarring storyboard.

Each step designed to take passerby towards the knowledge that might save a child's life.

"Awareness is important so people can stop that cycle," Child and Parents Services Co-Chair Lisa Choate said.

Some of the Walk of Knowledge volunteers were kids standing up for kids. Jeromy Stacy's family runs a foster home, and some of Stacy's foster brothers and sisters have been abused.

"Getting to make a difference like this, it directly impacts my life and the lives of a lot of children I see every day," Stacy said.

Petrolia senior Erica Holalde said the issue of child abuse and neglect is a very personal one for her. She was struck while setting up the shoes, imagining the stories in the soles.

"They haven't done anything wrong, but they're being punished for reasons that they don't know," Holalde said, fighting back tears, "It's a thing that happens every day."

Volunteers wanted to let people know what's happening, so others can help make a difference too.

"People are reporting more and we're getting to help the people that really need it," Choate said.

Stacy said, once a foster child confided in him that he was abused. He thinks that sometimes kids are more comfortable going to other kids for help because they can relate better to people their own age. However, even if that's the case he said, finding a trusted adult who can do something about the abuse is crucial.

Choate said people are often scared to make the phone call to report abuse, because they're scared they'll disrupt a family, but she said calling is actually a way to offer support for the abused child.

If you know a child that is being abused or neglected---you can call 1-800-252-5400.

Dave Caulfield, Newschannel 6