Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky is gearing up for Child Abuse Prevention Month and Wear Blue Day that will take place April 2.

Wear Blue Day, according to Executive Director Jill Seyfred, is a way for the organization to raise awareness and promote education for child abuse prevention.

“It’s just an opportunity for everybody, not just Kentucky, but nationally, to pick one day and band together to recognize that we all have the power to prevent child abuse and neglect,” she said.

Wear Blue Day has been recognized in Kentucky for about four years, Seyfred said, and helps bring awareness to child abuse and empower communities to become educated on the topic.

Kentucky has recognized Child Abuse Prevention Month in April every year since 1983, while PCAK was formed in 1987.

The national symbol for Child Abuse Prevention Month is a blue and silver pinwheel, which can be placed in the ground throughout the month of April to bring awareness to the cause.

The organization will also host a virtual scavenger hunt throughout the state in which people can participate that will help them recognize and find local resources that can assist in preventing child abuse.

Seyfred said the organization works year-round to help provide advocacy, training, awareness and educational opportunities.

“Adults have to advocate for kids because kids often don’t have a voice, and so when we see gaps and we see needs and we see things that can be provided to families and children, it’s our obligation to speak up,” she said.

Seyfred said the organization works to communicate with policymakers and PCA in other states to help educate each other and the community, as well as those in a position to make decisions and policies.

The organization, she said, also works to provide training on about 20 different topics regarding preventing child abuse every year, including how to recognize and report child abuse, abusive head trauma or shaken baby syndrome, substance abuse, and other topics.

PCAK also provides education with 17 others throughout the state, serving about 13,000 parents every year, to help them pick up new skills and learn from others.

Training is currently being held virtually due to COVID-19, however, Seyfred said.

PCAK holds several events throughout the year, including Wear Blue Day, as well as an annual conference that brings in national speakers, and the Lexi Memorial 5K Run/Walk held in July in memory of a young girl who passed away as a result of child abuse.

“Child Abuse Prevention Month is a huge education and awareness campaign for us throughout the entire month. We’ve got ways the community can be involved and parents can be involved,” she said. “We all have a role to play in helping prevent child abuse and neglect.”

For more information on resources and activities from PCAK, Seyfred said to visit PCAKY.org

Christie Netherton, cnetherton@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7360

Christie Netherton, cnetherton@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7360

(2) comments

Frank Sterle

Every day of the year needs to be Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Trauma from unchecked child abuse/neglect typically results in the helpless child’s brain improperly developing. If allowed to continue for a prolonged period, it acts as his/her starting point into an adolescence and (in particular) an adulthood in which its brain uncontrollably releases potentially damaging levels of inflammation-promoting stress hormones and chemicals, even in non-stressful daily routines.

In short, it can make every day an emotional/psychological ordeal, unless the mental turmoil is doused with some form of self-medicating.

Meanwhile, general society perceives thus treats human procreative rights as though we’ll somehow, in blind anticipation, be innately inclined to sufficiently understand and appropriately nurture our children’s naturally developing minds and needs. I find that mentality — however widely practiced — wrong and needing re-evaluation, however unlikely that will ever happen.

Proactive measures in order to avoid having to later reactively treat (often with tranquilizing medication) potentially serious and life-long symptoms caused by a dysfunctional environment, neglect and/or abuse. And if we’re to avoid the dreadedly invasive conventional reactive means of intervention—that of governmental forced removal of children from dysfunctional/abusive home environments—maybe we then should be willing to try an unconventional proactive means of preventing some future dysfunctional/abusive family situations. Child development science curriculum might be one way.

Also, mental health-care needs to generate as much societal concern — and government funding — as does physical health, even though psychological illness/dysfunction typically is not immediately visually observable.

Frank Sterle

Trauma from unhindered child abuse/neglect usually results in his/her brain improperly developing or being damaged. If allowed to continue for a prolonged period, it acts as the helpless child’s starting point into an adolescence and (in particular) an adulthood in which its brain uncontrollably releases potentially damaging levels of inflammation-promoting stress hormones and chemicals, even in non-stressful daily routines.

Meanwhile, general society perceives thus treats human procreative rights as though we’ll somehow, in blind anticipation, be innately inclined to sufficiently understand and appropriately nurture our children’s naturally developing minds and needs. I find that mentality — however widely practiced — wrong and needing re-evaluation, however unlikely that will ever happen.

I wonder how many instances there have been wherein immense long-term suffering by children of dysfunctional rearing might have been prevented had the parent(s) received, as high school students, some crucial parenting or child development education by way of mandatory curriculum? After all, dysfunctional and/or abusive parents, for example, may not have had the chance to be anything else due to their lack of such education and their own dysfunctional/abusive rearing as children.

For decades, I have strongly felt that a psychologically and emotionally sound (as well as a physically healthy) future should be all children’s foremost right — especially considering the very troubled world into which they never asked to enter — and therefore child development science should be learned long before the average person has their first child.

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