The Grayson County Well being Division and Silverleaf Sexual Trauma Restoration Companies are teaming as much as educate the neighborhood about baby abuse and sexual assault.
April is nationally acknowledged as Little one Abuse and Sexual Assault Consciousness Month, and, in line with Grayson County Well being Division (GCHD) Neighborhood Well being Educator Jenny Cummings, addressing these points is extra very important in Kentucky than ever as a result of, for the final three consecutive years, Kentucky has ranked primary within the nation for baby abuse and neglect.
Kentucky, on common, studies 20.1 circumstances of kid abuse per 1,000 kids, whereas the nationwide common is 9 circumstances per 1,000 kids. The best fee of abuse is reported as occurring throughout a toddler’s first 12 months of life, Cummings mentioned.
Moreover, 70% of kid abuse fatalities happen with kids below 3 years previous, with shaken child syndrome the primary trigger of kid fatalities.
These numbers are putting, but many are unaware that such abuse happens so regularly. For that motive, officers have taken steps to teach the neighborhood in the course of the consciousness month.
First, Grayson County Decide Government Kevin Henderson signed a proclamation final week declaring the month of April to be Sexual Assault Consciousness/Little one Abuse Consciousness Month in Grayson County.
Cummings mentioned the GCHD has additionally been planting indicators for consciousness round Grayson County alongside blue pin wheels, which have come to function the image for baby abuse prevention as they symbolize a cheerful, wholesome childhood.
Moreover, GCHD officers will quickly publish a podcast by which they interview Dr. Jillian Carden, government director of Silverleaf, about what constitutes baby abuse; easy methods to shield kids from baby abuse; and what the neighborhood can do to rally behind mother and father and youngsters. A second podcast shall be posted later within the month associated to shaken child syndrome.
Neighborhood members can also see banners or yard indicators studying “Your Voice Has Energy,” which is a message for each the neighborhood and survivors of sexual violence that every one ought to converse up for many who have been harm and assist with their therapeutic.
Carden mentioned in a separate information launch that almost one in two ladies and one in 5 males in Kentucky shall be sexually victimized in some unspecified time in the future of their lives.
Officers are additionally planning a “Chalk the Stroll” occasion on April 21, throughout which companies, properties, and different entities shall be inspired to put in writing messages of hope and encouragement for victims of sexual assault in chalk on their sidewalks.
Whereas most consider baby abuse as being bodily, Cummings mentioned, it might take a number of different kinds as nicely, together with verbal, sexual and emotional abuse; nonetheless, 74% of kid abuse circumstances in Kentucky are circumstances of neglect, which is constituted by a scarcity of ample meals, clothes, shelter, medical care, and many others.
Cummings additionally mentioned that 30% of abused and uncared for kids will go on to abuse their very own kids.
“Abused folks abuse folks,” she mentioned. “If we all know higher, we will do higher.”
All 12 months round, the GCHD strives to scale back the charges of kid abuse via a wide range of initiatives, most notably its HANDS program, which is free and proof primarily based.
Via HANDS, well being division workers educates mother and father on what’s regular for a kid’s conduct and improvement, thereby establishing lifelike expectations with much less frustration in response.
“After we educate households on milestones and what to anticipate, we get higher outcomes,” Cummings mentioned, including that the GCHD at present has 80 households enrolled within the HANDS program and checks in with them as soon as per week.
HANDS is just not revenue primarily based, and is free and open to anybody in the neighborhood, “whether or not you’re a primary time father or mother or have had multiple baby,” mentioned Cummings.
To report baby abuse, name 877-KYSAFE1. For extra details about the HANDS program name 270-259-3141.
Silverleaf is each a Little one Advocacy and Rape Disaster Heart, which implies they serve people of all ages, no matter when the abuse occurred. All companies are freed from cost and embody remedy, a 24-hour disaster line, and advocacy companies.
It additionally offers free prevention and training coaching for different businesses, church buildings, companies and the overall neighborhood. Teaching programs embody Web Security, Wholesome Relationships, Human Trafficking, Sexual Assault Prevention, and Darkness 2 Gentle.
For extra details about this company, to hunt companies, and/or to donate, go to silverleafky.org.