As child abuse increases in East Texas, survivors say it is time - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

As child abuse increases in East Texas, survivors say it is time to change

HARRISON COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - A group of East Texans are trying to shine the light on the growing problem of child abuse.

In the several years, Smith County has seen an increase in the number of victims that were reported. The number of reports assigned to investigation in Smith County went from 1408 in 2012 to 1461 in 2013.

However, Harrison County is seeing a decline. The Harrison County Children Services Board hosted a short ceremony in honor of Child Abuse Awareness on Tuesday.

Angela Person is a survivor and found the bravery to discuss the most hurtful events of her life.

“I finally decided that I wasn't going to let it live in me. I was going to be better than that. I was going to overcome that,” she said.

Every 11 seconds a child is reported abused or neglected.

“Every single one of us decide that we are going to put a stop to this,” Person said.

While Angela was able to overcome her abuse and now volunteers to help victims, others haven't been able to find that strength.

According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, 65% of prison inmates were abused as children and 90% of convicted murderers were also abused as children.

Authorities remind folks that if you know about child abuse and do not report it, that can be prosecuted as a crime.

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