Researchers at Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas have published a map of Austin's child abuse hot spots. The numbers show certain areas of town that are disproportionately affected.
One of those areas is what Dell Children's researchers is calling the "East Austin Crescent". The area is yellow and red which indicates the most case of child abuse. It starts in the Rundberg area in Northeast Austin, goes east and further down southeast.
"The top three most common are physical abuse, neglect and sexual abuse. But this also included medical neglect and all forms of maltreatment," says Dr. Amanda Barczyk, Associate Director of Research at Dell Children's.
Why is this? Researchers say it's a combination of things including lack or access of healthcare.
"Those behavioral health services are often located on the west side of 35 so often near the urban core," Dr. Barcyzk says.
Austin NAACP President Nelson Linder has an office in East Austin and says that part of town tends to be a little behind.
"These are very stressed areas, all kinds of stress. I think there's a correlation between that and abuse. Parents are under stress, divided, trying to survive and it creates that kind of environment," Linder says.
Dell Children's says they just studied Travis County but hope to do another study that focuses on all counties in the Austin metro area.
"We do hope to expand our study and get more Texas data and look across and see how the other areas compare to ours," Dr. Barcyzk says.
It's something that could come to good use to bring awareness about cases like one in Georgetown recently when officers say Wanda Williams Kirby dropped off her children on the side of the road. After a passerby stopped to check on the kids, Kirby came and picked them up. She has a criminal history with similar child related arrests dating back to 2012.
"That's the most critical thing. Public safety of our children. That's the threshold. If you can't do that you don't look good as a society," Linder says.
Officials say they plan to analyze the data and implement suggestions including providing more access to behavioral health sciences.