A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Child abuse is a big problem in Kentucky — here are five ways businesses can help prevent it

Child abuse in Kentucky is a big problem. It impacts not just the child and family but the broader community.

• Kentucky had the highest rate of child victims of abuse in 2019 in the US, for the 3rd year in a row.

• Kentucky is double the national rate of child victims of abuse under age 1 and the third highest rate in the nation

• The most prevalent risk factors for victims are substance abuse (54%) and domestic violence (52%).

• Trauma has long-term health implications and a history of trauma impacts education and employment success. Abuse victims incur $19 trillion over their lifetime in costs for treatment, remediation, and support.

As a business owner, what are some things YOU can do to prevent abuse?

Here are some idea from the FACE IT MOVEMENT, launched in 2013 as an initiative led by Kosair Charities in response to the number of child abuse deaths in Kentucky:

1. Support a Family-Friendly Work Environment. Ensuring families are supported by their employees, when possible, with family friendly policies and practices that can reduce risk that increases the likelihood of abuse and neglect.

2. Create a Culture of Care. A workplace culture that creates the opportunity to relationship building and a feeling of belonging that helps to create protective factors in the home.

3. Recognize When Your Employees are Struggling. Keep a list of potential resources related to both basic needs and emotional well-being and encourage your employees to access them.

4. Learn How to Defuse Challenging Moments. Having the skills to lower the temperature can make a big difference in the moment and long term for parents and their kids. Implement bystander intervention trainings to equip your staff.

5. Make it Your Mission. Talk to your employees about child abuse prevention, identify it as a priority at your place of business and partner with a local nonprofit to bring in training, education, and fundraising opportunities.

For more information about how YOU can play a role in child abuse prevention, click here.

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