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“Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so,” they sing. “Little ones to him belong, they are weak but he is strong.”
The crowd sang along, after they heard facts about how many “little ones” were abused in Taylor County last year.
Community members gathered Tuesday afternoon to recognize the month of April as Child Abuse Awareness Month.
As the children, a class from Kentucky Christian Academy, sang, pinwheels they held spun in the breeze. Blue pinwheels are the national symbol of child abuse awareness.
The gathering was a collaborative effort between Greater Campbellsville United, Adanta and the local Department of Community Based Services office.
Wanda Washington, GCU executive director, said she encourages everyone to commit to preventing child abuse.
“You know the saying, ‘It takes a village to raise a child?’” Washington said. “It takes a village to prevent child abuse.”
Washington said the efforts to stop child abuse shouldn’t stop after Tuesday’s ceremony is over.
“This is just the beginning.”
Dee Dee Ward, a social services worker with the DCBS office, said there are six staff members who investigate child abuse reports in Taylor County.
In 2012, the office received 396 calls reporting child abuse that met criteria for those workers to begin investigating the claims.
The calls involved 329 families and 499 children, Ward said.
“Not all were substantiated,” she said.
Of the reports, Ward said, 138 children were found as either abused or needing services from the DCBS office.
Ward also presented statewide child abuse statistics, which show that instances of child abuse are on the rise across Kentucky.
Representatives from Taylor Regional Hospital and Adanta also spoke.
Campbellsville Mayor Tony Young and Taylor County Judge/Executive Eddie Rogers read a proclamation proclaiming this month as Child Abuse Awareness Month in Taylor County.