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Number of crimes against children has climbed in Texas over the last few years

Number of crimes against children has climbed in Texas over the last few years

June 4, 2021
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HOUSTON — Crimes against children have dominated the headlines over the last few weeks. The deaths of children like Samuel Olson , Maleah Davis , Josue Flores and Maliyah Bass have pulled at the heartstrings of the community over the last several years. Their lives came to an end […]

Click here to view original web page at www.khou.com


HOUSTON — Crimes against children have dominated the headlines over the last few weeks.

The deaths of children like Samuel Olson, Maleah Davis, Josue Flores and Maliyah Bass have pulled at the heartstrings of the community over the last several years.

Their lives came to an end under horrific circumstances.

According to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, the number of children who have died because of child abuse and neglect in Texas has climbed over the last several years.

DFPS data showed the number of cases rollercoaster since 2010, but they’ve been rising since 2017:

  • 2010: 227
  • 2011: 231
  • 2012: 212
  • 2013: 156
  • 2014: 151
  • 2015: 171
  • 2016: 222
  • 2017: 172
  • 2018: 211
  • 2019: 235
  • 2020: 251

Data from the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences shows medical examiners certified the deaths of 25 children 12 and younger as homicides in 2018.

In 2019 that number climbed to 29 before falling to 24 in 2020.

So far this year, five cases have been certified as homicides.

Caroline Roberts, associate director of policy and staff attorney for Children At Risk, said due to the pandemic, it’s been harder to notice if kids are being abuse or neglected.

“The past year many children have been stuck at home under very, very stressful circumstances,” Roberts said.

She said these cases have gone unreported until it’s too late.

“Because other teachers, doctors, other family members have had less contact with these children, that has made it really, really tough," Roberts said.

Also, she said tragic stories involving children are devastating to the community.

However, Roberts encourages people to make an effort to pay attention and not look the other way.

“Because those children, they’re so helpless,” Roberts said. “They really are reliant on us to make an outcry for them.”

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