April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and the figures are daunting.
In 2018, the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services substantiated 32,407 abuse cases or services needed cases in the state, which was 471 more cases than in 2017. A total of 538 cases were substantiated or services needed cases in Whitley County alone in 2018, according to state figures.
A group of local residents will be doing their part to raise awareness about this problem through the 2019 Walk One Mile for Child Abuse Prevention walk Saturday afternoon in Williamsburg, which is being organized by the Whitley County Health Department.
Registration for the free walk begins at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Bill Woods Park, and the walk begins at 1 p.m. and will be led by 82nd Rep. Regina Huff.
T-shirts will be available on a first come, first serve basis until the shirts run out.
The event will be held rain or shine, unless there is thunder or lightning, in which case it will be cancelled.
Statewide in 2018, there were 56,286 calls that met acceptance criteria to be investigated in Kentucky, which involved 45,323 unique families and 84,595 unique children. A total of 28,709 unique children were found to be in substantiated cases or services needed reports, according to state figures.
In Whitley County in 2018, there were 673 calls that met acceptance criteria to be investigated, which involved 547 unique families and 1,074 unique children. The 538 substantiated cases or services needed reports involved 513 unique children.
By comparison in 2017, there were 701 calls that met acceptance criteria to be investigated in Whitley County, which involved 517 unique families and 986 unique children. The 491 substantiated cases or services needed reports involved 355 unique children.
Sponsors for Saturday’s walk include: Wellcare, Kentucky Splash Water Park, Williamsburg Main Street Program, Maternal Child Health and Step It Up Kentucky.
Saturday’s walk will follow the one-mile Beat the Heat route.