TexProtects To Honor Texans Working For Child Safety

WFAA Sportscaster Dale Hansen and State Senator Florence Shapiro will be honored on Sept. 24 by TexProtects, The Texas Association for the Protection of Children. Hansen will be presented with the 2012 Children’s Champion Award for publicly speaking out during the Penn State tragedy about his reluctance to talk about his victimization. Senator Shapiro will be honored with the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award for her work on passing sexual predator laws.

Sen. Florence Shapiro

Dale Hansen

The prevalence of child sexual predators is astounding. Sex offenders do a masterful job of cloaking themselves in guises such as community leaders, benevolent pastors, prestigious politicians and, in the Sandusky case, heroic coaches. These predators convince family members, friends and the outside world that they are beyond reproach by using the camouflage of their respected positions.

Perpetrators "groom" their victims by building trust and breaking down the child's defenses, all too often succeeding in keeping them silent. Intimidating children with shame and threats of harm, predators convey subtle messages ensuring that few will believe the child.

The result: Only 1 of 10 sexually abused children will actually tell someone about their assault. Since we can't expect voiceless children to speak out, it is incumbent upon adults to do so.

It is imperative that we learn the lessons of Penn State by taking action now to protect our children from the thousands of Jerry Sanduskys right in our midst. It is essential that the rest of us know how to recognize, report and pre-empt child molesters from perpetrating these horrific crimes.

TexProtects empowers advocates to help give these children a voice. Since TexProtects’ inception, they are responsible for leading passage of over 26 bills that ensure improved child protection and have raised over $44.5 million in funding for a cost-effective child abuse prevention program, Nurse-Family Partnership, in addition to helping raise millions more for child protection programs. TexProtects is the only autonomous, non-partisan, statewide, research-driven membership organization taking a holistic approach to child abuse on a prevention continuum advocating for reforms and funding.

Help TexProtects speak up for Texas children. Please help build awareness by signing up for alerts at www.texprotects.org. For information regarding the event honoring Dale Hansen and Senator Shapiro, contact Amanda Langford, Director of Operations & Membership at 214-442-1672 or visit www.texprotects.org/eventinfo.

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