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2011-11-16 / Viewpoints

Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA) Reminds Citizens of Their Duty to Report Child Abuse

AUSTIN – The Texas Young Lawyers Association (TYLA)created the award-winning multi-media project, “The Little Voice – Recognizing Child Abuse and Your Duty to Report It,” to raise awareness about our statutory obligation in Texas to report child abuse. 

“The Little Voice” includes English and Spanish PSAs, posters and pamphlets, and a 35-minute video, featuring actor Victor Rivers, that educates the general public, childcare providers, educators, and parents about child abuse and gives them the tools needed to detect and report it. 

The importance cannot be stressed enough:  four children die every day from abuse, and 13,700 children are abused every day. “The Little Voice” is available for viewing at www.tyla.org/thelittlevoice or may be requested by calling 512.427.1529.

“TYLA is focused on bringing awareness to this important topic and we hope that if even one child can be helped from someone listening to their own little voice telling them to speak up about child abuse, then our work on this project was worth it,” said Natalie Cobb Koehler, TYLA president.

“The Little Voice has a dual meaning – both the voice of a brave and terrified child, but also that inner voice that tells us something is wrong, said Jennifer Evans Morris, TYLA immediate past president. “This project encourages everyone to listen to both voices. Children simply cannot protect themselves. But we can – and it is our obligation.”

TYLA has distributed over 2,000 copies of the video and 2,400 posters, and “The Little Voice” webpage has received more than 2,000 visits since it was created in March.

TYLA was presented with the National Association of Bar Executives (NABE)/LexisNexis Community and Educational Outreach Award for the project during the American Bar Association Annual Meeting in August. TYLA has been coordinating with the State Bar of Texas Child Abuse and Neglect Committee, Child Protective Services, nonprofit organizations across the state, and radio and television stations to get this important message out. 

The project is made possible by a generous grant from the Texas Bar Foundation, the largest charitably-funded bar foundation in the country. Since its inception in 1965, the Texas Bar Foundation has distributed more than $11 million in grants to assist Texas nonprofit organizations with justice-related programs and services.

TYLA, widely recognized as the public service arm of the State Bar of Texas, develops programs designed to assist Texas attorneys in the practice of law and provides legal education to Texans as a public service. TYLA’s main purposes are to facilitate the administration of justice, foster respect for the law, and advance the role of the legal profession in serving the public. All licensed Texas attorneys who are 36 years old or younger or who are in their first five years of licensure regardless of age, are automatically members of TYLA.


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