Two children in Jim Wells County died at the hands of abuse, according to 2018 statistics from the Department of Family and Protective Services.
"That's two to many," said Shaun Skipper, an attorney with Child Protective Services, during the annual JWC child abuse awareness candlelight vigil held at the steps of the JWC Courthouse.
"Why are we here tonight? I don't know your answers, but I know mine," Skipper said. "We're here to remember. Specifically, we're here to remember two children who died last year as a result of abuse and neglect...All children deserve a life free from abuse and neglect."
There were 734 alleged victims of child abuse in Jim Wells County and 192 in Duval County. In JWC, there were 141 confirmed victims of abuse. In Duval County, there were 47 confirmed victims.
Members of the community spoke about making a differences and being a hero to a child by speaking up and reporting the suspected abuse.
"The number keep growing. The children that are affected keep growing...(Jim Wells) has the biggest numbers of alleged victims. We've got the biggest number of death," said JWC District Attorney Carlos Garcia.
Garcia and his staff first hand what children go through when they take families to court. He urges the community to report suspected abuse and help stop the number of cases from rising.
Sgt. Danny Glavez is with the JWC Sheriff's Office. Galvez and his fellow officer see child abuse and neglect on a regular bases and must investigate the crimes.
"These kids are going through some of the worst times in their lives. They're looking for somebody to help them. Anybody can be a hero," he stated. "You don't have to wear a badge, you don't have to carry a gun to be a hero...If you see something, say something. Be that hero for that child."
Pin wheels were planted into the courthouse grounds in memory of those children who suffer at the hands of an abuser.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and advocates continue to spread the world about child abuse in the hopes of eradicating it.