Sunday, May 26, 2024

Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month in Azle


AZLE — The Azle City Council recognized two big issues at the beginning of a recent April 16 council meeting. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Child Abuse Prevention Month. Mayor Alan Brundrett met with representatives from Freedom House of Parker County and the Alliance for Children and presented each with a written proclamation acknowledging the occasion.

Freedom House is a nonprofit focused on providing safety and services to domestic violence and sexual assault victims. The local branch of the organization is headquartered in Weatherford at 1149 Fort Worth Highway, and has a satellite office in Springtown at 121A E. First St. The organization has been recognized by the council in the past for its efforts as well. The Parker County location began out of a volunteer’s house almost 30 years ago. Now the organization serves about 40 to 50 Parker County residents per month, many of them first-time visitors and some coming from as far as Mineral Wells.

Alliance for Children is a Tarrant County nonprofit that counsels and provides resources for abused youths. The organization works with local law enforcement and counselors to help protect kids, reduce trauma and bring abusers to justice. The group served its first child in August 1992 and since then, 70,000 kids have walked through its Fort Worth center located at 3609 Marquita Drive.

“I just want to add, too, Alliance for Children is just a great organization. I had a chance to go to your open house when you had it in Lakeside,” Mayor Brundrett said. “It just really cuts down on the trauma from kids that are being abused and everything. From counseling and interviewing at one stop instead of five different organizations interviewing the kids helps reduce that trauma. Then even going in and redoing those kids’ bedrooms and decorations and things like that. It makes it a little bit easier for that child to be in different surroundings and not have all those memories.”

The organization’s Chief Executive Officer Julie Evans received the proclamation from Brundrett and spoke about the role the Azle Police Department serves for the organization.

“Our county is growing, and the reality is, unfortunately, there is nobody that’s void from this. We see people from every town, every walk of life,” Evans said. “(The organization) has seen big growth in the last couple years. I just want to say, your police department here is stellar to work with. I was reaching out to my team that works with your detectives specifically and I was like, ‘anything I need to know as I see Chief Hall?’ You should read the texts they sent back, just about the teamwork, the camaraderie and just the dedication they show.”