Family & Children’s Place, the area’s leading child abuse prevention and treatment agency, is launching a month-long “Building Brighter Futures Community Challenge” campaign during April. Based on the premise that protecting children from abuse and neglect is every adult’s responsibility, the campaign will urge every area resident to make a pledge to do at least one thing during Child Abuse Prevention Month to stop the mistreatment of infants, youngsters and teens in the community.
“We, as an agency, know how to prevent child abuse,” said Dan Fox, president of Family & Children’s Place. “We, as a community, must learn the simple things each of us can do, and then make a pledge to do them. The Building Brighter Futures campaign is a launching point for a new era in community involvement to prevent child abuse in the Greater Louisville area. During April, we will be offering residents daily tips, free sexual abuse prevention classes, online information and a mid-month rally to encourage them to make and carry out their pledges to the children who are our neighbors and, thus, our responsibility.”
One of the first things residents can do is learn the facts about abuse, Fox said, noting that it happens to tiny infants, toddlers, youth and adolescents in every zip code, at every socioeconomic level, from every faith and of every ethnic background in the community. Unexplained injuries are not the only signs of abuse, he added, saying that behavior changes also often signal mistreatment.
In 2007, nearly 15,000 of the 88,292 reports of child abuse and neglect in Kentucky were confirmed by authorities. And 30 of those children died. In Indiana, there were 24,808 confirmed cases of abuse and neglect, and 36 deaths. A 2007 study by Prevent Child Abuse America estimated the direct and indirect costs of child abuse at $103.8 billion a year.
“Beyond these monetary costs, the physical, psychological, behavioral and societal consequences of child abuse can last lifetimes, if not generations,” Fox said.
Beginning April 1, Family & Children’s Place will be providing daily child abuse prevention suggestions and tips for area residents. The tips will be available daily online at www.familyandchildrensplace.org and www.facebook.com/familyandchildrensplace. Twitter users can get daily tips and other information by following @IStopAbuseINKY.
Making the Pledge:
Mayor Jerry Abramson and First Lady Madeline Abramson will kick off the Building Brighter Futures Community Challenge by being the first to sign pledge cards at an April 1 event. Thereafter, the agency encourages every other area resident to complete a card to show their commitment to preventing child abuse. The cards will be available beginning April 1 at various locations throughout Louisville, including:
- Family & Children’s Place, 2303 River Road and online at www.familyandchildrensplace.org and www.facebook.com/familyandchildrensplace;
- WAVE-3 TV, 725 S. Floyd Street and online at www.wave3.com;
- Kentucky Youth Advocates, 11001 Bluegrass Parkway, Jeffersonville, KY and online at www.kyyouth.org;
- Cox Radio, 612 S. Fourth Street, Suite 100 and online at www.lite1069.com
- Frazier International History Museum, 829 West Main Street; and
- Guthrie/Mayes Public Relations, 710 West Main Street and online at www.guthriemayes.com.
Free Sexual Abuse Prevention Training Classes:
Family & Children’s Place will host three free sessions of Darkness to Light training, a national program designed to raise awareness of the prevalence and consequences of child sexual abuse by educating adults about the steps they can take to prevent, recognize and react appropriately. These programs are free, open to the community and will be held on:
- Monday, March 29, from 12:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. at the Stake Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1000 Hurstbourne Parkway
- Monday, April 5, from 5:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. at the Louisville Free Public Library Main Branch, 301 York Street
- Wednesday, April 7, from 8:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. at Family & Children’s Place, 2303 River Road
Space is first-come, first-served, and limited to 30 participants per training session. For more information and to reserve your space, please call Jaime Thompson at 584-8505, ext 218.
On April 13, members of the community are invited to join child advocates and other residents at a Building Brighter Futures Community Challenge rally hosted by Family & Children’s Place at Slugger Field at 11 a.m.
“During the rally, we will highlight the accomplishments of some of those individuals who already have made and carried out their child abuse prevention pledges, and we will encourage and provide more information for those who have not yet done so,” Fox said.
Live, Online Discussion:
Family & Children’s Place will host a live, online Facebook discussion about recognizing, preventing and reacting appropriately to child abuse and neglect. The discussion will take place at www.facebook.com/familyandchildrensplace on Tuesday, April 13, from noon until 7 p.m. The discussion will be staffed by counselors from Family & Children’s Place who will respond online in real time to participants’ questions and comments. Counselors also will post resources and tips during the live discussion, which will remain on the agency’s fan page indefinitely. Participants may join at any time during the live discussion, or they may submit their questions and comments to the discussion page in advance and review the responses at a later time.