Owensboro STANDS Against Child Abuse

Kenzie Tomes, Staff Writer

The month of April is dedicated to child abuse awareness. Here in Owensboro, people take initiative to ensure that our community is well-informed and that citizens have the chance to help make a difference. The Community Collaboration for Children Regional Network (CCC) and the Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) teamed up to bring awareness through a family-friendly event called The Stand. The purpose of this event is to educate the community about resources that are available to them and bring awareness to this growing problem. DCBS says their main goal is to educate, prevent, and take a stand against child abuse.

Kentucky Wesleyan College has hosted this event annually on the front lawn in front of the Yu Hak Hahn Center for the Sciences. In the previous year, this event attracted about thirty agencies and vendors and five hundred participants. This year, that number was doubled with approximately one thousand members of the community joining together in the fun on Thursday, April 13 on Wesleyan’s campus. Some of the activities included photo booths, food vendors, bouncy houses, and an adorable petting zoo.

The statistics are astounding for the number of abuse and neglect cases within our state lines. DCBS released that Kentucky Child Protective Services investigated 6,150 allegations of abuse and/or neglect of minors, as well as 3,460 substantiated victims of abuse and/or neglect. Knowing this, it is vital that we inform and provide our community with the resources to help families in crisis and, in effect, lower these numbers significantly. CCC Regional Coordinator Kristy Clark shared on the topic, “Child abuse is a difficult topic, and the prevalence of abuse is often underestimated.  The focus of the STAND is to bring awareness to the existence of abuse and to rally as a community in advocating for the safety of children, and to let families know that there is a community to support them in being the best parents possible.”

By participating and raising awareness through events like The Stand, we can do our part in the fight to end child abuse and neglect not only in our community but across the country.