The annual Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness walk took place on the Russellville town square on Tuesday with students from schools all over Russellville and Logan County taking part, along with many members of the community.
Participants heard the story of the blue ribbon campaign and then walked to the historic Logan County Courthouse for the proclamation reading announcing April as Child Abuse Prevention/Awareness month.
Missy Perry, Supervisor for Logan County’s Family Services for Protection & Permanency, says it is extremely important to support the children of our community and to become their voices if they are in trouble or in need.
Perry has been involved in protecting children for over 25 years. She is an investigator who takes her job very seriously and has to due to the high volume of calls the Kentucky Cabinet gets each year, and it seems to be growing. Last year Logan County had 312 investigations for abuse and neglect.
Perry believes one of the reasons for the high volume of cases is due to the community becoming more involved, which is a good thing.
“More people are not afraid to report these abuses,” said Perry. “It wasn’t the mindset to report when I began. With school and law enforcement, and now the community taking part, more reports are being made.”
Victims, said Perry, are feeling they can report their abuse now. This goes along with the school systems who are taking an active roll in keeping children safe. Perry said they talk with the children and have a great relationship.
Every year more than 3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States involving more than 6 million children (a report can include multiple children). The United States has one of the worst records among industrialized nations – losing on average between four and seven children every day to child abuse and neglect.
Yearly, referrals to state child protective services involve 6.3 million children, and around 3 million of those children are subject to an investigated report.
Reports can be made anonymously by calling 877-597-2331. This number is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Perry says they do encourage callers to leave a contact number to help if there is need for additional information.
A collection of 132 Teddy Bears/stuffed animals and 26 plush throws/blankets by Stevenson Elementary students and staff through the “Teddy Bear Round-Up” emphasis was held during the month of March. These donated items were delivered to one of the homeless centers in our area. SES Family Resource Coordinator, Carol Kees, noted that these items didn’t come just from SES students and staff, but also community members who learned of the project.
To contact OJ Stapleton, email email@example.com or call 270-726-8394.