UPDATED: Monday, April 23, 2012 - 12:11am
WACO -- As the child abuse trend rises threatening the next generation's future officials say it's our responsibility to do something about it.
"Every case that is reported, it is estimated that more than 8 cases go unreported. You're talking about a larger number of potential victims that people may know about but were either too scared to report or didn't know how to report," said Kerry Burkley, program director for the Children's Advocacy Center.
"Get to know your neighbors. Find out the children in your community. See if something is different or wrong that's happening and step up and report the abuse," said Julie Moody, Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (TDFPS).
According to the TDFPS in 2011 nearly 66,000 children were abused and neglected and 231 Texas children died because of it.
McLennan County is no exception.
Last year 794 local children were victimized, 4 of those cases resulted in death.
Nearly 400 child abuse victims have walked through the doors to the advocacy center in the last year and officials say awareness is the only way to bring that number down.
"It increases the more readiness of the public to report or access the resources available if they're aware," said Burkley.
"The only way child protective services can help a child or family is if we know that this child or family is in need of help," said Moody.
There are a few events taking place in Waco this month to spread the word of child abuse.