April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Family & Children’s Place, along with the Kosair Charities Face It® Movement partners, kicked off the month with a Rally to End Child Abuse at the Big Four Bridge in Louisville.
Hundreds of advocates from Kentucky and Indiana—both sides of the Big Four Bridge—came out to support protecting children from abuse and neglect. Speakers included Pam Darnall, executive director of Family & Children’s Place, Sadiqa Reynolds from Mayor Greg Fischer’s office, Chair of Kosair Charities Board Jerry Ward, Police Chief Steve Conrad, and Kentucky Youth Advocates’ own Terry Brooks. The rally ended with advocates walking the Big Four Bridge as a show of solidarity in the commitment to help end child abuse.
While we use April to shine a spotlight on child abuse and neglect, children are injured in Kentucky—physically, emotionally, sexually—every day. Last year in Jefferson County alone, 3,467 children were victims of abuse and neglect. That number totaled more than 19,000 statewide; 12 of those children died and another 29 suffered near-fatal injuries.
Child abuse and neglect can have a long-lasting impact on a child throughout adulthood without proper intervention. Youth who have experienced abuse and neglect are more likely to perform poorly in school, develop mental health issues, and experience chronic health issues later in life. It is our responsibility as advocates to end child abuse and ensure no child experiences preventable trauma.
We at Kentucky Youth Advocates are proud to be a part of the Face It® Movement, led by Kosair Charities, to help stop abuse in our community. Face It has already had several successes, including recently passing SB 119 sponsored by Senator Julie Raque Adams from Louisville. This bill will ensure public school personnel receive important education on recognizing signs of abuse and how to report it.
If you believe a child is being abused or neglected you should call one of the Child Protection Hotlines listed below:
Kentucky’s Child Protection Hotline: 1-877-KYSAFE1 OR 1-877-597-2331
Indiana’s Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline: 1- 800-800-5556
Photos from the 2015 Family & Children’s Place Rally to End Child Abuse