Tyler, TX (KYTX) -- More than 200 Texas children died last year at the hands of child neglect or abuse, and three of those lived in Smith County.
Brandy Frater is a mother of two who came to show her support for a message at the Saint Louis Early Childhood Center in Tyler.
She knows not all kids get the attention they need. "I've been in child care for 10 years and I've seen a lot of form of neglect and it's a sad case and it really affects the kids in the long run," Frater said.
It's staggering just how many kids are affected by abuse.
"One of every 4 girls and 1 out of every 6 boys will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday,"Brenda Sanchez, with the Children's Advocacy Center, said.
Reps with the CAC say sometimes a change in behavior or appetite are red flags a child is hurting.
"If they are normally outgoing and friendly and then all of a sudden they become very reserved, that could be a sign or symptom," Sanchez said.
A special ceremony put on by Tyler ISD and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services hopes more people will be aware of the problem. Organizers say drugs are at the root of many cases.
"When parents are involved in drugs, a lot of times they neglect their children," Charlotte Sanders, Program Specialist for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, said.