April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

April 15, 2004

Dear Editor:

No one wants to think about the horrors a child from an abusive home faces. Stories of neglect or physical, emotional and sexual abuse trouble us. It's easy to look the other way, hoping someone else is there to clean up the mess. Kentucky Baptist Homes for Children is here for just that, but we also have a responsibility to share the realities of those messes with you.

For instance, more than 16,000 kids are physically abused each year in Kentucky. That's not all. Nearly 35,000 children suffer from neglect each year, according to the most recent reports. More than 5,000 of Kentucky's children and teens are sexually abused, and 1,700 suffer emotional abuse, according to the Kentucky Department for Community Based Services.

Kentucky's children need your help. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, also known as Blue Ribbon Month. The blue ribbon campaign was started in 1989 by a grandmother who wanted to honor her grandson - a 3-year-old killed by his mother's abusive boyfriend. The blue ribbon stands as a constant reminder of the bruises her grandchild had.


At Kentucky Baptist Homes for Children, we talk a lot about child abuse, its effects and how we might prevent it. What we really do, though, is help kids overcome it. You can help. In addition to wearing a blue ribbon this month, here are some other things you can do:

* Be a nurturing parent.

* If you suspect a child or teen is being abused, call the Kentucky Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-752-6200.

* Advocate increased funding for family services.

* Support agencies which serve abused children and teens.

You can make a difference.

William K. Smithwick


Kentucky Baptist Homes for Children

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