Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General's Office Joins Children's Advocacy Centers of Kentucky to Kick-Off National Child Abuse Awareness Month
The Office of Attorney General Jack Conway and the Kentucky Association of Children's Advocacy Centers (KACAC) kicked-off National Child Abuse Awareness Month with a celebration of hope and healing at the Capitol today. More than 5,000 pinwheels lined the front lawn to honor the child sexual abuse victims served by the state's 15 regional Children's Advocacy Centers (CACs) in 2011. Pinwheels are used as the symbol for child abuse prevention.
"Each pinwheel signifies a child that has suffered as a result of this heinous crime," said Deputy Attorney General Patrick Hughes. "The Attorney General's Office is committed to working hand-in-hand with Children's Advocacy Centers, social workers, prosecutors and law enforcement to protect Kentucky kids from child sexual abuse."
Nationally, rates regarding child victims of rape or sexual assault range from 1.2 to 1.9 children per 1,000. Approximately one-third of all sexual assaults reported to law enforcement involved a victim under the age of 12. It is also estimated that only one in 10 victims of sexual abuse ever discloses the abuse.
"The Children's Advocacy Centers of Kentucky saw a staggering number of children for services in the last fiscal year. Our hope is that these numbers indicate an increased awareness about the work of Multi-disciplinary teams and the services offered by CACs," said Meghan Wright, KACAC State Coordinator. "The events yesterday and today have been a reminder that sexual abuse remains a problem throughout the Commonwealth. Yet, these pinwheels also help us remember the tremendous work of centers and teams in the lives of 5,035 children who had extraordinary courage."
Kentucky's regional CACs provide services for the investigation, treatment and prosecution of child sexual abuse cases. Services include forensic interviews, medical examinations, mental health and related supported services and staffing of multidisciplinary teams. In 2011, the advocacy centers provided 3,183 forensic interviews and 1,021 medical examinations to child victims of sexual abuse.
The Attorney General's Office of Victims Advocacy provides staff and support to the Kentucky Multidisciplinary Commission on Child Sexual Abuse as well as the Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Prevention Board (CSAEP), CSAEP, which administers the Child Victims Trust Fund (CVTF). Revenue from the "I Care About Kids" license plates helped CVTF provide more than $58,000 to children's advocacy centers last year to defray the costs of child sexual abuse medical exams. Additionally, the fund provided $137,000 in 2011 for regional and statewide initiatives to prevent child sexual abuse.
The Kentucky Multidisciplinary Commission on Child Sexual Abuse brings together front-line responders such as law enforcement, prosecutors, children's advocacy centers and social workers to develop and approve protocols for investigating and prosecuting child sexual abuse for local multidisciplinary teams.
In Fiscal Year 2011, General Conway's Office of Victims Advocacy provided resource referral and technical assistance to more than 7,000 victims and service providers. The office works to ensure that Kentucky's crime victims are treated with respect and dignity as their cases proceed through an often complicated criminal justice system.