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April is Child Abuse Prevention/Awareness Month. The Washington County Homemakers are once again sponsoring the Blue Ribbon Campaign to make people aware of this terrible problem.
In 2011 in the state of Kentucky alone, there were 48,910 cases reported involving 63,438 children. The number of children substantiated as needing help was 19,521. In Washington County, there were 106 children in 74 reports with 63 substantiated. In 2010, there were 48 children in need.
This is a community problem. Each one of us needs to do our part to change this terrible problem.
There are many little things you can do to help a child feel good about himself/herself. Take time to call a child by their name, read them a book, let the child help plant a garden or flowers, let a child help plan a meal and help prepare it. When you talk to a child bend down to their level.
Blue ribbons can be found around town: library, banks, health department, daycare centers and lawyers’ offices. Pick up one and wear it each day during April to show your support for this program.
To report abuse or for help, call 1-800-CHILDREN.
Washington County Homemakers
After attending the Town Hall Meeting March 20 at Mordecai’s, I have more reasons to be proud of “home,” Washington County.
The Washington County Heartland Youth Coalition presented an informative and eye-opening program focused on prescription drug abuse and underage drinking.
Bro. Mike Fenwick gave an individual account of personal experience that touched everyone in the room and brought this growing problem home to all.
We met outstanding young men and women who will be our future leaders – who have goals and dreams for their futures.
Our youth face many temptations on a daily basis and need our guidance and support to realize these goals.
We, as citizens of this great community, need to support WCHYC, along with The Community Prevention Center staff, both financially and physically by “being there” for our youth.
Let’s be available and encouraging – our time and attention is so needed by our young people.
Listen to them and support their dreams and aspirations.
Don’t let them lose sight of their goals by the distractions of everyday life.
Let us join together so underage drinking, bullying and drug abuse can be conquered here in our wonderful community. It does take the village!
It is disheartening to read and listen to all the hateful and disparaging things being said about the church these past few weeks. It’s expected from the secular world, of course, but perhaps the more heartbreaking comments are those of my own brothers and sisters in the faith who have long ago excommunicated themselves from her teachings. I have never understood how anyone who considers themselves a Christian could rationalize abortion or abortifacient drugs. How do you do that? It may go something like this, “those babies should be killed, and the resources saved used to feed the poor.” People who think this way either believe in no God or a very detached one indeed. Jesus revealed to us that the very hairs of our heads are numbered, and that a sparrow doesn’t fall from the sky without it being noted in heaven.
Now, in these modern times we have seen a new and more terrible “slaughter of the innocents.” The church also has been betrayed by some of our own members, as Christ himself was. As the church now endures her own passion, we can join those who could accuse, curse, and spit upon The Mystical Body of Christ, or we can live up to our calling and be Veronica.
Child abuse and neglect hits thousands of homes in Kentucky every year. In 2011 alone, there were nearly 10,000 substantiated cases of abuse and neglect, involving more than 15,500 children. Over the past five years, at least 141 children have died as a result of abuse and neglect in Kentucky.
In most cases, there are warning signs of child abuse and neglect and it’s up to us to sound the alarm so these children can find shelter and refuge. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and it serves as a reminder that we have an obligation to protect the innocent young people in our communities.
If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, you should immediately contact the Kentucky Child Abuse Reporting Hotline at 1-800-752-6200. This number is answered 24-hours a day, seven days a week. You can also report suspected child abuse to your county’s Child Protective Services Office, the local police or to the county attorney’s office.
State confidentiality laws will protect your identity and the report will be followed up by an investigation by Child Protective Services to determine if the report can be substantiated.
Dr. William Smithwick
President and CEO
Sunrise Children’s Services
Mt. Washington, KY