KENTUCKY (WFIE) - Throughout April, people will notice blue pinwheels spinning across the Tri-State.
This is because April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
“Blue is the national color for child abuse prevention month,” Community Collaboration Children Program Coordinator Kristy James said.
Kentucky and Indiana are again among the worst states in the country for child abuse.
“It’s saddening, more than surprising,” James said.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Kentucky’s child abuse rate is the highest in the country for the third straight year.
In Indiana, the death rate as a result of child abuse is the highest in the country.
“I think it’s just not being afraid to tell people,” James said. “You know they think that something may be going on, that’s one big thing communicate with each other, and reach out.”
Awareness advocates encourage people to report an incident of suspected abuse/neglect to a hotline or local law enforcement agency.
In Kentucky, the number to call to report suspected child abuse is (877) KY-SAFE1 (597-2331). The number in Indiana is 1-800-800-5556. The National Child Abuse Hotline is (800) 4-A-CHILD (422-4453).
“Abuse and neglect can lead to such negative consequences as depression, developmental delays, a risk of developing substance abuse, as they get older and everything,” Dyana Newton, the Green River Community Collaboration for Children State Co-Chair said.
Green River Community Collaboration for Children says people can help prevent child abuse and neglect by staying connected with family and friends through social media, spending time with kids outdoors, and providing meals to a family in need.
“It’s really imperative to try and spot this at the young age so we can help these children while we still can because once the abuse goes on it affects their mental state in such a negative way and they repeat the cycle,” Newton said.
In Owensboro on April 16, The Stand Against Child Abuse awareness event is happening in the parking lot of Towne Square Mall from 4:30 p.m. until 7 p.m.
We are told this year’s event will be a drive-thru resource fair. Attendees will remain in their vehicles and receive information from various agencies as they drive through the designated route.
Organizers say a balloon release and moment of remembrance will be observed to represent the number of fatalities and near fatalities as a result of child abuse or neglect in the state of Kentucky.