If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
Please enter your email and we will send your username and password to you.
TWO PROCLAMATIONS FOR APRIL
La Salle County Judge Leodoro Martinez III was joined by local government elected officials, courthouse staff, emergency responders, child advocates and service providers on Wednesday, April 5, in signaling overwhelming support for both Child Abuse Prevention and Sexual Assault Awareness month in a pair of proclamations.
The judge met with more than 85 representatives of the Children’s Alliance of South Texas (CAST), the Wintergarden Women’s Shelter, the Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of South Texas, the Belong agency, the Woman’s Club of Cotulla, the La Salle County Sheriff’s Office, the 81st Judicial District Attorney’s Office and La Salle County attorney, Cotulla ISD, the La Salle Fire Rescue, the Encinal Police Department, county commissioners and local residents in the county’s district courtroom to read the proclamations and encourage education and communication in the social issues.
“Children are the embodiment of dreams and aspirations for the future,” the judge said for the first of his two official proclamations, “and deserve to grow and develop in nurturing environments, free from fear and victimization.”
Martinez added that he believes child abuse and neglect can be reduced by ensuring that families have the support they need in raising their children and that society has a responsibility to protect the young and help them thrive.
“Every child is entitled to be loved, cared for, feel secure and be free from verbal, sexual, emotional and physical abuse and neglect,” the judge said, listing the many agencies that operate locally and work in advocacy and intervention in cases of abuse. “We have dedicated individuals and organizations who work daily to counter the problem of child maltreatment and help parents obtain the assistance they need.”
“Effective child abuse prevention programs succeed because of partnerships among families, social service agencies, schools, religious and civic organizations, and law enforcement agencies,” he added. “I urge all citizens to join in dedicating their energy to cherishing our children and helping them grow so they may mature into successful adults. Their success is our success.”
Addressing April’s dedication as Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the judge said the focus of the designation is to draw attention to the fact that sexual assault is widespread and has public health implications for every community member.
“Rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment impact our community as seen by the number of survivors seeking assistance from their assaults through local law enforcement,” the county judge said. “Staff and volunteers of anti-violence programs encourage every person to speak out when witnessing acts of violence, however small.
“With leadership, dedication and encouragement, there is compelling evidence that we can be successful in reducing sexual violence in La Salle County through prevention education, increased awareness, and holding perpetrators who commit acts of violence responsible for their actions.”
Martinez added that he and county government representatives, service providers and advocates urge the public “to learn about sexual assault and commit themselves to the community goal of ensuring that everyone in La Salle County can live their life free of sexual violence.”
Additional comments on public and government support were offered by County Attorney Elizabeth Martinez, who acknowledged the many organizations represented in the courtroom for the proclamations last week and said she believes that those who joined the judge in showing support were voicing their position as advocates and would be ready to take action in intervention and education on the issues.