Community comes together to take a stand against child abuse

Child abuse prevention rally held at Milam Park

By Ashly Custer - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - The list of high-profile child abuse cases in South Texas has continued to increase this year. To help end the cycle members of the San Antonio community gathered to shine a light on the growing problem.

On April 29, Bexar County deputies found two small children chained and tied in a backyard. Two weeks ago, a Bexar County jury sentenced Ivan Sanchez to 50 years in prison for sexually abusing a 9-year-old girl.

"The prevalence and the level of brutality in child abuse is overwhelming. We felt that the citizens of San Antonio can't sit by idly back and expect CPS, the police and legislators to fix this. It’s going to take all of us," said Angela Pena, one of the “Child Abuse Prevention Rally” organizers.

Jessica Rodien agrees. She told KSAT that adults need to be vigilant to protect their children.

"Like a predator that preys on kids who knows where to touch them and what do to for that abuse not to show, that's how I felt," Rodien said, describing how she felt when reviewing the surveillance camera video in her home.

Her 5-year-old son Reyshawn, diagnosed with a hypoxic brain injury, was an easy target for child abuse.

"He is wheelchair-bound and he doesn’t speak, doesn’t walk and doesn’t talk. So we are his advocate," Rodien said.

That’s what Saturday’s Child Abuse Prevention Rally was about, speaking up for those who don’t have a voice or who may be too scared to speak up themselves.

Local leaders and representatives from local agencies and organizations came out to provide information about different resources report abuse and help victims.

"Just think about the kids. If you see something make sure that an authority knows about it. Someone, who can investigate and find out if this child needs to be rescued," said Guardians of Children San Antonio Chapter President Tom Patterson.

A person does not have to be a relative or close family friend, anyone and everyone is encouraged to report abuse.

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