Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott Delivers Remarks At Internet Safety Billboard Campaign Launch In San Antonio

July 29, 2021 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott today delivered remarks at the launch of the R.E.A.L. Friends Don't nationwide online safety campaign in San Antonio. In her remarks, the First Lady discussed the importance of educating parents about the importance of online safety and thanked the R.E.A.L. Friends Don't Campaign for their partnership with the Office of the Governor on the launch of this new digital billboard campaign across the state. 

The R.E.A.L Friends Don't campaign increases awareness and educates parents and caregivers about online safety. The goal is to empower parents to protect their children from harmful content, grooming, or online exploitation. Through a partnership with the Office of the Governor, the Outdoor Advertising Association of Texas, and the McCain Institute for International Leadership, R.E.A.L. Friends Don't is launching digital billboards across the state of Texas to educate Texans about online safety and ensure parents and caregivers have the tools and resources to keep their children safe. The billboards, with English and Spanish messages, will be broadcast throughout Texas in more than 70 cities now through the end of the year. 

"As our children spend more time on the internet, the crime of online enticement continues to grow ⁠— but we can help shine a light on this darkness and help parents protect their children and teens," said First Lady Cecilia Abbott. "It begins with raising awareness and educating parents and caregivers on the danger signs, and then giving them the tools to fight back. That's exactly what the R.E.A.L. Friends Don't online safety campaign will do, and I am proud to partner with them on this important issue. I have no doubt that by joining together, we can help protect each and every child in our great state."

The First Lady was joined for the campaign launch by Outdoor Advertising Association of Texas President Lee Vela, faith leaders from the Governor's GRACE initiative, and members of the Alamo Area Anti Human Trafficking Coalition.

"Knowing this campaign will reach millions of individuals throughout the state of Texas gives me great hope that parents and caregivers will be better prepared to engage with their children on this issue and know how to respond if something makes them or their child uncomfortable," said Cindy McCain, McCain Institute Board of Trustees and Human Trafficking Advisory Council Chair.