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Children's Shelter Vigil Honors 19 Local Fatalities Of Child Abuse In 2012

San Antonio Children's Shelter

The Children’s Shelter and VOICES for Children of San Antonio are asking residents to participate in an event Tuesday evening to raise awareness of the problem of child abuse.

The two groups are hosting a "Remember 19" candlelight vigil Tuesday evening to make sure the 19 children who died violent deaths last year are not forgotten.

Children’s Shelter President and CEO Annette Rodriguez said Texas leads the nation in child abuse fatalities, and the Shelter wants to raise awareness among not only the community but also state legislators:

"We need to make sure that our programs, our prevention programs and our programs that support our families and our parents aren't cut," Rodriguez said. "We can't afford to have any more children die at the hands of child abusers. This is certainly something that's preventable. It's something that can be treated, but it can't be treated unless we have the funds to do it."

Rodriguez said child abuse is worse during hard economic times, and in fiscal 2012, Bexar County recorded 6,250 cases of child abuse, had 2,163 removals, and 19 child abuse deaths. She added that volunteers are needed at the shelter to help read to the kids, feed and bathe them, and tuck them in at night so they know someone cares.

Eileen Pace is a veteran radio and print journalist with a long history of investigative and feature reporting in San Antonio and Houston, earning more than 50 awards for investigative reporting, documentaries, long-form series, features, sports stories, outstanding anchoring and best use of sound.