Cameron County Child Abuse Unit works to aid those in need
Cameron County, TX – Often, the person who sexually abuses a child is someone the child knows or trusts.
When Cameron County Assistant District Attorney Patrick Rodriguez first started working for the Child Abuse Unit, he was surprised to find that many times, the sexual abuse is happening quietly.
“I always felt that sexual assaults were something loud and vicious, but a lot of what we see is a silent horror,” Rodriguez said. “It’s quietly an uncle (or another family member) molesting a child.”
Right now, the CameronCountyDA’s Office is working on 50 cases pertaining to child abuse, but more are always coming in.
Not every incident that is reported makes it to court or even the Child Abuse Unit’s desk. Investigators may determine that there is not sufficient evidence for a case, or if the case does reach the unit, witnesses may drop the charges or change what they say, said Brandy Bailey, supervisor of the child abuse unit.
“We’ve had quite a few cases where the mothers or grandmothers will say that it didn’t happen. That’s why it’s so important we all have that relationship with the therapists and professionals,” Bailey said.
Law enforcement helps, too, with the amount of evidence and statements it is able to provide for a case, Rodriguez said.
Gabriela Cruz, the Child Abuse Unit’s paralegal, helps keep the unit running, too, said Yvette Vela, public information officer for the DA’s Office.