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Remembering the county's abused children

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144 reportedly abused locally last year

By Calen McKinney

 

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A slight breeze passes through, and the 144 pinwheels come to life. They spin faster and faster, catching the sunlight as they turn.

As the wind blows, another pinwheel is placed in the ground to represent a child in need. Last year, there were 144 children in Taylor County who were abused or found in need of social services.

Last Thursday, mental health, community members and family and social services workers gathered at the Taylor County Courthouse square to honor those 144 children and pledge to do all they can to see that no more children suffer from abuse.

April is recognized as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Last Thursday, Campbellsville Mayor Tony Young and Taylor County Judge/Executive Eddie Rogers proclaimed the same in Taylor County and pledged that residents do all they can to see child abuse stop.

Madonna Beard, a counselor with Adanta, said she believes children are the greatest blessing God gives his people.

"And he entrusts us with those children," she said.

But oftentimes it's those who are entrusted with children who abuse them.

"By the time you walk back to your car, one child has been abused," she said. "And there's something you can do, I know it."

Monica Hall from the Cabinet for Health & Family Services, said there were 324 calls made in Taylor County last year that met necessary criteria to qualify as reports of child abuse. Those calls involved 254 families and 417 children.

And the majority of the 144 children found to have been abused were young, from ages 1 to 5, she said, and about 80 percent of the cases involve sexual abuse.

For more information about child abuse, visit the Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky website at www.pcaky.org.

To report abuse, call (270) 465-3549, (270) 465-4122 or the toll-free Kentucky child abuse hotline at (800) 752-6200.