Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Because it worked so well the first time?

Seven years ago, this story appeared in the San Antonio Express News:

MARCH 31, 2000:

San Antonio Express-News
Ad campaign focuses on child abuse awareness; Injury by neglect increasing in S.A.
By Suzanne Hoholik

The TV commercial shows two young girls walking hand-in-hand along a city street, a dog rooting around a trash Dumpster behind them.
They're alone, with no adult supervision, and almost walk into oncoming traffic.
The message: leaving your children unattended is neglect - a crime.
"I think what most people don't realize is that neglect can be child abuse," said Marla Sheely, spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services. "Things that areas simple as leaving a child alone in the bathtub can
be dangerous and even deadly. I don't think parents realize that some simple things like that can be abuse."
TDPRS launched a three-year campaign Wednesday to heighten public awareness about child abuse and neglect. …

The one thing just about everyone in Texas agrees on is that, in the past seven years, there has been, at best, no improvement in child welfare. There are a lot of indications that things have gotten worse, especially in San Antonio. (For details see NCCPR’s report on child welfare in Texas).

So, after seven years of failure, what did authorities come up with this year?

APRIL 3, 2007:

San Antonio Express-News
Officials resolve to fight abuse of children
By: Nancy Martinez

A young woman in a wedding dress walks down the aisle professing her love for a man with a killer smile and a killer laugh. When she gets to the altar, she finds a tiny casket. "But who knew that he had killer hands?" she says.
Two women are shampooing their hair at a salon and talk about how a boy was wearing long sleeves to hide his bruises -- that it was hard to believe no one had reported his abuse to Child Protective Services.
Bexar County CPS officials shared the public service announcements Monday with about 150 state, county, city and CPS officials Monday to kick off Child Abuse Prevention Month. The announcements will be broadcast locally to encourage people to pay attention to signs of child abuse and to report their suspicions.

The awareness campaign kicked off the way it does every year, with officials vowing -- in vague terms, generic pledges and poetic declarations -- that child abuse must stop. …