Kentuckiana agency holds virtual rally to end child abuse

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Every year around the first of the month the Family and Children’s Place holds a rally to end child abuse. With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, they say this rally is more important than ever. They’re still holding the rally on April 1 – it will just look a little different this year.

Right now, the employees at the Family and Children’s Place are dealing with a new normal. While they’re only able to communicate through their phones and computers, their mission remains the same: to prevent child abuse.

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“It is even more critical that we keep connected with kids and families,” Pam Darnall, the president and CEO of the Family and Children’s Place, said.

Schools, sports and clubs are often safe places for children in abusive households. With practically everything in the city shut down, those kids don’t have many other options and are home now more than ever.

“Even with our current challenges, we have to remember kids that cannot speak up for themselves who are in positions that they don’t have resources and people that will take care of them. So, we have to be their voice,” Darnall said.

This is a message that is critically important in our area. In 2017, Kentucky had around 22 victims of child abuse per 1,000 children and Indiana had nearly 19, according to the Children’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Both of these statistics are more than double the national average of 9 in that year.

These numbers are the reason the Family and Children’s Place is holding its annual rally online. Its other services, like prevention programs, child advocacy center and counseling are also available online. The organization wants people to have access to information about what they do, why it’s so important, and what you can do to help.

“We know this is a really difficult time for everybody, so this might be a time where we think about when things are a little more back to normal how might we want to commit even more?” Darnall said.

The Family and Children’s Place serves 10 counties in Kentucky and 5 counties in southern Indiana. They see between 5,000 and 6,000 people every year. 

If you want to join the virtual rally on April 1, click here.

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