• Submitted by CASA

Downtown decorated for Child Abuse Prevention Month

If you have driven downtown Versailles recently, you may have noticed

some extra splashes of color. Blue pinwheels, lamppost banners and a

banner on the courthouse are all up during April for Child Abuse

Prevention Month.

CASA of Lexington put up the decorations thanks to grant funding. CASA

of Lexington’s trained volunteers serve abused and neglected children in

the Woodford County family court system, as well as children in Bourbon,

Scott and Fayette counties.

Kentucky is the worst state in the nation for child abuse and neglect

three years running, according to the U.S. Department of Health and

Human Services.

There were more than 20 cases of abuse and neglect for every 1,000

children in the state in 2020. Woodford children are among those

affected: Last year, there were 63 substantiated cases of abuse and

neglect in Woodford County.

“New cases of child abuse and neglect dropped by as much as 20 percent

in Kentucky last year. Unfortunately, that’s not because abuse and

neglect went down. It’s because pandemic restrictions meant fewer eyes

and ears on children to spot the signs of abuse and say something,” CASA

of Lexington Executive Director Melynda Jamison said. “That’s why Child

Abuse Prevention Month in 2021 is so important. As things open back up

and many of us get back to ‘normal,’ we must also remember to look out

for the most vulnerable children in our communities. Even if the

pandemic had never happened, their lives were already a long way from

anything we would consider ‘normal.’”

If you would like to make a difference for children in Woodford County,

there are many ways you can help prevent child abuse, according to

Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky, including:

You can make sure the children in your life know if they ever see or

hear of others being harmed, they should tell a trusted adult.

You can take free online trainings available from PCAK at

pcaky.org/trainings.

You can access and share prevention materials at

pcaky.org/information-and-data.

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