While national statistics show a 27.4 percent increase in child abuse victims since 2013, the state of Kentucky reports that 51 children died and 83 suffered near-fatal injuries as a result of child abuse in Kentucky in 2018.
The month of April is dedicated to child abuse awareness nationwide, and there are several ways to get involved locally.
The Commonwealth of Kentucky has set aside April 5 as “Wear Blue Day” to increase awareness of abuse. On Wear Blue Day, Kentuckians across the Commonwealth will increase the visibility of child abuse awareness while emphasizing state policies and programs that empower children and families to thrive.
Simply by wearing blue, community members can stand in solidarity with others to promote awareness and show commitment to the community’s responsibility for ensuring the healthy physical, mental and emotional welfare of its children.
Local residents can also join with local businesses and organizations to take part in the STAND Against Child Abuse event on Friday, April 12, from 4:30-7 p.m. on the south lawn of Kentucky Wesleyan College.
“The STAND is a one-stop shop for families that provides fun at the same time,” said Kristy Clark, LSW and Lead Case Manager for the Community Collaboration for Children Regional Network (CCC). “By getting a pamphlet and a contact, families are able to connect with organizations like Building Stronger Families, which is an in-home service we provide.”
This free event is hosted by the Green River Area Development District’s CCC and the Department for Community Based Services (DCBS). These two organizations hope to promote healthy families, educate the public about child abuse, and provide resources for any families who need emotional or physical assistance.
Featuring free hot dogs, face painting and a petting zoo, the STAND is a family event with the goal of eliminating child abuse in the local community by making resources, statistics and services known to anyone in need.
If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, call the Kentucky Child Abuse Hotline at 1-877-KYSAFE-1 or local law enforcement.