Cartoon Characters on Facebook Spreading Child Abuse Awareness

By Abby Reed
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Cartoon characters are plastered across the Internet. It's a light hearted attempt to spread awareness about a heavy issue. Child Abuse Awareness Month isn't until April, but folks across the country - and right here in the Basin - are using the cartoons to put this tough topic in focus.

Bugs Bunny, Mighty Mouse, Foghorn Leghorn - these are cartoon pictures from our childhood, plastered across Facebook. They're pictures that make us smile. Those pictures, are a far cry from two mugshots, displayed in the news recently. The first is of Kenneth Wayne Savell of Odessa. He was arrested this week, accused of beating his two little boys with a dog leash. Another is a mugshot of John Dana Bailey, also of Odessa. He was arrested and charged with murder this week, police say he killed 5-week-old baby boy, Dustyn Wright.

Child abuse cases like these are the reason folks across the country - and even here in the basin - are posting cartoon pictures on Facebook.

"All of my friends on Facebook are posting up their pictures, you know, and I didn't really understand what was going on at first, until I saw the some of the status updates," Robin Reece with CASA of West Texas, which is a child advocacy organization in Midland, said.

The Facebook statuses are asking people to make their display picture of their favorite childhood cartoon. The goal is to get people talking about child abuse.

"I think it's great! I think it's a really great way to raise awareness," Reece said.

Reece says she thinks the posting of cartoon characters on Facebook is a clever way to put light on a tough subject.

"Well, it's going to peak someone's interest and it's going to make them get out on the Internet and Google child abuse and say, you know, just how much of this is going on our community," Reece said. "It's something just to get their minds stirring, to where they will go out and see, and hopefully follow through and either give donations to an organization or become an advocate for an organization that deals with child abuse."

According to CASA, in our region, in 2009 there were more than 2,500 victims of child abuse. CASA of West Texas serves seven counties in the Basin, including Midland County. If you're interested in becoming a volunteer, you can call them at 683-1114.