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Child abuse even more prevalent

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By The Staff

It's getting worse. That's a fact. A story in the works for Monday's issue will tell it like it is.

The number of reported child abuse cases in Taylor County is on the increase.

The story focuses on statistics from Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky. Last year, according to the organization, there were 269 cases of child abuse involving 369 children reported in Taylor County. Of those, 58 were substantiated, involving 105 children.

In 2006, there were 202 cases reported, involving 228 children. About 50 of those cases were substantiated, involving 74 children.

Is the increase truly an increase? Or are there just more cases being reported?

Regardless, it's not good news and not in the direction we'd like statistics like these to move.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

The month is geared toward promoting child abuse education and raising awareness. In other words, the purpose is to educate communities about child abuse and make sure residents know that it's occurring.

Maybe educational efforts have raised the awareness enough that more abuse cases are being reported?

Each year at this time, people across the nation focus on the horrifying reality of child abuse.

But perhaps we should promote it every month ... every day

It's certainly not a pleasant thought to realize that something so tragic happens in our own community. But it does. The numbers are proof of that.

If you suspect a child you know is a victim of child abuse, do your part and report it.

Today's children are tomorrow's future.

To find out how to get involved in child abuse prevention efforts, contact Heather Barnes, victim's advocate at the Taylor County Attorney's Office, at 469-9456, Dee Dee Ward, social services worker at the local Protection and Permanency office, at 465-3549 or Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky at (800) CHILDREN.