New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who grew up in the Austin area and attended Westlake High School, and his wife Brittany have a new public service announcement that draws awareness about child abuse. They worked with Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas’ Child Abuse Resource and Education Program to encourage people to call Texas Child Protective Services at 800-252-5400. State law mandates that anyone who suspects child abuse alert state or local law enforcement.
Signs of child abuse include:
- Significant changes in mood or behavior
- Declines in academic performance
- Trouble eating or sleeping
- Inappropriate sexual behaviors
- Substance abuse
- Self-harm behaviors (such as cutting)
- Suicidal thoughts
- New fears of certain situations, places or people
- Unexplained injuries to a child or infant
The Brees, who have four children, had this to say about reporting child abuse:
“Too often, people are unaware of how severe and prevalent this problem is in Texas,” Drew Brees said. “They don’t see signs of abuse because they don’t know what the signs are. We are the first line of defense in identifying children who are being abused, and we all have a responsibility to act when we have concerns.”
“Sometime people don’t report something suspicious because they’re afraid or don’t want to get involved – or don’t know who to contact,” Brittany Brees said. “Providing safe, stable and nurturing environments for children during the most critical time for their development requires support from all of us.”
The CARE Program serves about 650 patients annually, many of whom are 3 years old or younger and are victims of sexual abuse.
The PSAs will be televised through 2016.