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Top Story

The Little Voice
By: Jennifer Evans Morris, Partner, Carrington Coleman

You know someone who was abused as a child. It might be your client, your neighbor, the colleague down the hall, your boss, or the person who does your taxes. It might be you.

You probably know a child who is being abused today - a child who is too terrified to tell, too loyal to speak up, too alone to help themselves. It is a hard reality to accept, but four children die every day from child abuse. For every four children that die each day, there are over 13,000 who suffer neglect, emotional, physical, or sexual abuse – almost always at the hands of those who are supposed to care for them most - parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, babysitters, and nannies.

We can do something about it. We should do something about it. We are required by statute to do something about it. And, in April the Texas Young Lawyers Association will do something about it – hopefully with your help.

The Little Voice was created by TYLA to educate the public about our obligation to report child abuse when it is suspected. The project is about not just listening to the little voice of a child when she tells us something is wrong. It is also about listening to our own internal voice when it tells us something is wrong. The Little Voice, a 35 minute video, English and Spanish Public Service Announcements, and written materials, was created to educate all of us about how to recognize abuse and what to do about it when it is suspected. Through the stories of three survivors of abuse and the advice of professionals, the video identifies the different types of abuse, describes how to recognize abuse, and provides information about what to do about your suspicions.

Throughout the month of April, National Child Abuse Prevention Month, TYLA will be working hard across the state to publicize the English and Spanish PSAs. If you have a local or statewide contact with a television station, radio station, network, or movie theater, please let us know. We would like as many people as possible to learn about our statutory obligation to report suspected child abuse. We will also be showing the 35 minute video to schools, child care centers, churches, and other organizations who care for children. If you would like to be involved, please contact Kristy Piazza at

Together, we can all save lives by listening to The Little Voice.