By Candace Birkelbach

Killeen Daily Herald

Wednesday is "Go Blue Day," a statewide event designed to raise awareness about child abuse and the 227 Texas children who died in 2006 from abuse and neglect.

A blue ribbon is the international symbol for Child Abuse Prevention Month, and the color blue was chosen to represent the bruised and battered bodies of the thousands of children abused each day, according to a news release from the Bell County Child Welfare Board.

The Child Welfare Board is encouraging people to wear a blue shirt, dress, tie or ribbon to show their support.

"It serves as a constant reminder that all of us have a responsibility to help keep children safe," said Barbara Keetch, chair of the Bell County Child Welfare Board.

Each year, there are more than 60,000 confirmed victims of abuse in Texas, the release states.

In Bell County, there are about 275 to 300 cases of abuse or neglect reported each month, Keetch said.

This equates to about 3,300 to 3,600 children each year in Bell County who are faced with abuse.

Keetch said people need to know what child abuse is about, the signs of it and how to report it.

"It's the responsibility of every citizen to report child abuse," she said.

Child abuse consists of children who are unsupervised, improperly clothed, inappropriately touched or in need of medical care, Keetch said.

Bell County sees a high number of sexual and physical abuse cases, Keetch added.

Appromiately 450 children are in foster care and under the legal responsibility of the county, Keetch said.

The county monitors all those children to make sure they are safe and adequately cared for.

Contact Candace Birkelbach at

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