SHERMAN, TX -- As Child Abuse Awareness month kicks off, law enforcement and child advocates are spreading the word about the crime that affects far too many families.
These blue flags represent the 559 cases of child abuse reported in Grayson County last year alone.
Several hundred of those children got help at the Children's Advocacy Center.
"It is a big number for this county, it is," CAC Executive Director, Martha Nuckols, said. "And we can only tackle this together, we can only make a change in that. That number steadily goes up every year."
Nuckols says it's Texas state law for the public to report abuse, even if it's just a suspicion.
"You don't have to confirm it in anyway, just call the hotline and make a report and let the professionals do the investigation," Nuckols said.
Counselor, Vanessa Rendon, says she is counseling around 20 kids right now, ranging from age three to 18.
Rendon says she tailors her therapy methods to help kids open up about the abuse they've experienced.
"Children at that age don't have the capability to talk, so they do a lot of their processing of the situation through play, and my role in that situation is to play with them," Rendon said. "Through that play I can show them what is appropriate and what isn't appropriate."
Nuckols says many more cases of child abuse go unreported.
And she wants the public to know the CAC can help not only the child victims, but their families.
And Rendon says being able to help a child overcome abuse is an indescribable feeling.
"The most gratifying thing is them coming back to me and saying I faced my perpetrator and I am not sad about it," Rendon said.
The Children's Advocacy Center, CASA and several other organizations are holding different events this month to spread awareness.
You can find a list of those events at the CAC website :