EL PASO, Texas — The two-year-old girl was found beaten to death in an apartment on the East side of El Paso, along with her badly beaten four-year-old brother.
“The four-year-old brother survived,” said Al Velarde executive director of the Child Crisis Center of El Paso.
The Center is trying to get the community involved during Child Abuse Prevention month to help spread the message that “spanking and hitting a child is never the right response,” Velarde said.
All through April everyone in the El Paso area can show their support to abused children by tying a blue ribbon to their car antennas or by wearing blue on Fridays.
“Like these children many others are still suffering the hardships of living in homes with domestic violence and poverty,” said Laura Morales, an employee at the center. “Children don’t deserve abuse and they should be able to live freely with no worries, and that’s what we provide for them.”
Located in 2100 N. Stevens the center has sheltered abused children in this city for years. Child abuse is a problem that is as common as it is tragic.
Thirty years ago founders George and Mary Russell started this center after their grandson was permanently blinded because of continuous beatings.
“The center is a non-profit organization open 24 hours 7 days a week for families in El Paso and its surrounding areas,” added Morales, which means they need the community’s help to keep providing for these children.
Everyone can show their support to these children year round not just in April by donating food, clothes, toys, furniture or money.
“The environment they stay in is very welcoming and not to mention, they get too live with kids their own age who are going through the same things” said Morales. “We love the kids as if they were our own and we grow a bond with each and every one of them.”
They work on a case-by-case basis but they all deal with lack of attention the children suffered and give love to each child. The center promises that all children brought there will be cared for and receive the attention they need.
“All cases stay confidential,” said Morales. Parents who are suffering from stress and cannot provide for their children anymore are encouraged to call the center at 915-562-7955.
“You do not have to worry about your child or your personal life being told to anyone,” explained Morales.
The first step towards defeating this endemic problem, according to the Center, is acknowledging that it even exists.