Maggie’s House event being held to raise awareness of child abuse prevention

SAN BENITO — In 1998 Maggie Dittman was a little girl from Harlingen who died from abusive head trauma at the hands of her babysitter.

She was only 2 years old.

Her babysitter was charged with murder and served 10 years in prison.

After seeing the need to expand its services and prevent a tragedy like this from happening to anyone else, the Cameron County Children’s Advocacy Centers opened Maggie’s House in 2001.

Prior to that, they opened Monica’s House in Brownsville in 1998.

The house is named after Monica Castillo, 4, who also died due to severe physical and sexual abuse at the hands of her caregiver.

Tomorrow, Maggie’s House will host the 20th annual candlelight vigil at 6 p.m. on the front lawn of the center.

The aim of the event is to raise awareness in the community about child abuse prevention.

Elsa Garcia, volunteer coordinator and community educator for the center, said child abuse is a growing problem that robs children of their innocence.

“It’s a silent issue and we need to unite the community,” she said.

The numbers don’t lie; child abuse is a growing issue in Cameron and Willacy counties.

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