April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Published 10:07 am Friday, April 14, 2023


The Children’s Advocacy Center of the Bluegrass, which serves victims of child sexual abuse across 17 central Kentucky counties, wants all citizens to know that they can protect these vulnerable children by reporting suspected abuse. Child abuse thrives when good people decide its none of their business.

Whether you are a teacher, a doctor, a family member, a coach, a counselor, or just a friend, the Children’s Advocacy Center of the Bluegrass encourages you to remember you have a role to play in ending child abuse.

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To honor Child Abuse Prevention Month, and encourage community members to get involved, the Children’s Advocacy Center of the Bluegrass will be hosting a Pinwheel Planting on Monday, April 17 at 10 a.m. at their office in Lexington at 162 N. Ashland Ave. The pinwheel is the national symbol for child abuse prevention, as it connotes playfulness and joy, and serves as a reminder of the great childhoods that all children deserve.

All are welcome.

Since 2018, Kentucky has been among the top five states in the nation in reported cases of child abuse. This year alone, the Children’s Advocacy Center of the Bluegrass will serve over 1,000 child abuse victims. This April and throughout the year, the Children’s Advocacy Center of the Bluegrass encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making Danville a better place for children and families. There are three steps community members can take to help kids now:

• Learn the signs of abuse, including: unexplained injuries, changes in behavior, fear of going home, changes in eating and/or sleeping, changes in school performance and attitude, lack of personal care or hygiene, risk-taking behaviors, inappropriate sexual behaviors.

• Learn the facts about child abuse, such as: Nationwide, according to the CDC, 1 in 10 children will experience abuse before turning 18. Additionally, 91% of child sexual abuse cases are perpetrated by someone known and trusted by the child and family, meaning it can be very difficult for a child to disclose what is happening.

• Make the report. Even if it’s just a suspicion of child abuse, gather your information and make the report to your local authorities.

To report suspected child abuse, please call (877) 597-2331. For more information about the Child Abuse Prevention Month or the services provided by the Children’s Advocacy Center of the Bluegrass, contact Emily Metcalfe, Development Associate, at 859-225-5437 or via e-mail at emily@kykids.org.

Since 1994, the Children’s Advocacy Center of the Bluegrass’s mission is to reduce the trauma experienced by sexually abused children by providing services to them in a nurturing, friendly, and safe environment. They coordinate the agencies involved in the treatment, investigation, and prosecution of child abuse cases across 17 central Kentucky counties. In 2022, nearly 1,000 children were seen at the Center for forensic interviews, medical exams, advocacy, and therapy services. All services are provided free of charge.