April is “Go Blue” Month in Weatherford TX

Child Abuse Awareness
April is Go Blue Month in Weatherford, Texas

Weatherford, Texas – April is “Go Blue” month in recognition of awareness and focus on child abuse prevention. Agencies like Child Protective Services, CASA-Hope For Children and law enforcement agencies and courts work to get the word about how to identify child abuse or neglect, and the importance of reporting suspected abuse.

How to recognize child abuse

There are four major types of child maltreatment: physical abuse, neglect, sexual abuse,and emotional abuse.

Suspect physical abuse when you see:

  • Frequent injuries such as bruises, cuts, black eyes or burns without adequate explanations.
  • Frequent complaints of pain without obvious injury.
  • Aggressive, disruptive and destructive behavior.
  • Passive, withdrawn and emotionless behavior.
  • Fear of going home or seeing parents.
  • Injuries that appear after a child has not been seen for several days.
  • Unreasonable clothing that may hide injuries to arms or legs.

Suspect neglect when you see:

  • Obvious malnourishment.
  • Lack of personal cleanliness.
  • Torn or dirty clothing.
  • Stealing or begging for food.
  • Child unattended for long periods of time.
  • Need for glasses, dental care or other medical attention.
  • Frequent tardiness or absence from school.

Suspect sexual abuse when you see:

  • Physical signs of sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Evidence of injury to the genital area.
  • Pregnancy in a young girl.
  • Difficulty in sitting or walking.
  • Extreme fear of being alone with adults of a certain sex.
  • Sexual comments, behaviors or play.
  • Knowledge of sexual relations beyond what is expected for child’s age.
  • Sexual victimization of other children.

Emotional abuse is mental or emotional injury that results in an observable and material impairment in a child’s growth, development or psychological functioning. It includes extreme forms of punishment such as confining a child in a dark closet, habitual scapegoating, belittling and rejecting treatment for a child.

Suspect emotional abuse when you see:

  • Over compliance.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Severe depression, anxiety or aggression.
  • Difficulty in making friends or doing things with other children.
  • Lagging in physical, emotional and intellectual development.
  • Caregiver who belittles children, withholds love and seems unconcerned about the child’s problems.

Call the Abuse Hotline at 1-800-252-5400 and request advice by reporting your concerns. The hotline is answered 24-hours a day, seven-days a week. Remember that child abuse prevention is a community issue. Reach out to colleagues and friends who share your concerns for the well being of your community’s children. As an advocate you can make a difference in the child’s life and demonstrate there are adults who care.

To find out what you can do in your community, contact Prevent Child Abuse Texas, 1-800-252-5400, 

Child Abuse Conference in Biloxi

Child Abuse Conference
One Loud Voice Child Abuse in Biloxi, Ms

BILOXI, MS – During the month of April, you may see a lot of people wearing the color blue for National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Wednesday, dozens of agencies from across the state gathered at the IP Casino Resort and Spa in Biloxi to be a part of the three-day One Loud Voice conference that helps cross train those who deal with children who have been a victim to abuse.

“We’re all here to protect the child, so we’re going to have sessions on how to respond on victim advocacy and investigating cases. Just a plethora of topics that are related to the investigation and treatment of cases where a child has been abused,” said Karla Tye, Executive Director of the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Mississippi.

Tye says because many agencies get involved when a child is victim to abuse, they want to make sure they can be the voice to the many children who are afraid or don’t know how to speak out.
To help paint a better picture of what it takes to help those in need, Darlene Ellison came from Dallas, TX, to share her story of being a victim and married to someone who she later found out was a sex offender.

“I started talking about it probably a year after it happened in mine and my children’s lives. Really to show my children how to take the elephant out of the room and show them that it wasn’t about them or their last name or anything that any of us had done,” Ellison said.

Ellison says talking about the issue is the first step to both protecting and helping victims heal.

“The hope is that in leading a conference like this, as an opening keynote, that we can remind people of the prevention aspect and remind them that child abuse knows no socioeconomic status, no race, no gender, and that we’re all about prevention,” Ellison said.

Ellison has been traveling across the country for years sharing her story, and she says there are two points that she hopes those listening can take away from her testimony.

“The inside out rule. That’s when we have to work with children and talk to them at a very young age. Then, my other message in doing keynotes in these conferences is to remind the very people who have chosen this profession, the very people who have chosen to give their lives to this industry, they are making a huge difference in the battle against child abuse,” Ellison said.

Former Bentonville School Bus Driver Not Guilty

Parenta cleared of Child Abuse, endangerment
James Ogborn
Parents cleared of Child Abuse, endangerment
Janefer Ogborn

BENTONVILLE, ARKANSAS (KFSM) – A Benton County jury found a former Bentonville school bus driver not guilty on Tuesday (April 7) on a misdemeanor child abuse charge.

Janefer Ogborn, arrested in 2013 with her husband, James, after a police officer said their malnourished children looked “like they came from a Holocaust concentration camp,” was found not guilty of misdemeanor third-degree battery.

In addition to the misdemeanor charge against Janefer Ogborn, both Ogborns were charged with three felonies each, including endangering the welfare of a minor.

The Ogborns were in Benton County Circuit Court Tuesday, facing a jury on all the charges.

However, Circuit Judge Brad Karren granted directed verdict on all but the misdemeanor charge against Janefer Ogborn. The judge’s verdict meant James Ogborn was free of all charges, leaving Janefer Ogborn to face a jury verdict only on the misdemeanor charge.

In a directed verdict, the judge declares the prosecutors did not make their case that a crime occurred, erasing the charges. The ruling was made over the prosecutors’ objection.

In August 2013, Bella Vista police responded to a home in reference to a possible child abuse call, and when officers arrived, they spoke with a child at the residence, who told police his mom, Janefer Ogborn, had hit and kicked him during an altercation. The child also told police the mom “told me she hated me and wanted to put my head through the wall, and would break me in half,” according to a probable cause affidavit in Benton County Circuit Court.

Police said the children “were very thin and extremely pale-skinned,” also noting that their hair was thin and eyes sunken in.

“They looked a lot smaller size way than a child of that age should be and the color of their skin and their appearance where of children that were malnourished,” said Captain Tim Cook of the Bella Vista Police Department.

“The children were complaining of being hungry and thirsty,” the affidavit states. “Their skin was also pale and ashy. You could see the veins in their necks and bones sticking out.”

Three children at the home told police they often were forced to stand for long periods of time, were only allowed to use the bathroom four times a day and were allowed two Dixie cups of water a day with meals, according to the affidavit.

The children also said they were forced to sleep on the floor. If they tried to sneak into their beds during the night, they were yelled at and forced to stand for long periods of time as punishment, the affidavit states.

The children said they were locked in their rooms and watched by video camera because they “steal food,” police said.

When the couple arrived home, Janefer Ogborn denied hitting any of the children, saying instead that she grabbed his cheek when he was not cooperating. Police asked to see the camera footage of the children’s rooms, but the Ogborns said the cameras were not functioning, the affidavit states.

Police seized the children from the home and placed the Ogborn couple under arrest, according to the affidavit.

Not long after being arrested Janefer Ogborn resigned from her job as a Bentonville school bus driver, records show.