Exciting things are happening at the Children’s Advocacy Center of the Bluegrass! After more than a year of planning, we have reached an agreement to purchase a new building at 158-162 North Ashland Avenue.

As you may know, we outgrew our home on Walton years ago. Last year we provided a record number of services to children and our current facility is no longer adequate to meet the needs of the communities we serve.

Our future home is located in the same quiet, safe and easily accessible neighborhood we’ve loved for 18 years. It is our hope that this facility will serve as a national model for excellence in the development of children’s advocacy services. With more than 8,000 sq. feet, this building provides the physical space to better serve children and families as we grow and expand services.

You can help us write the next chapter in our Moving Story. We are now engaged in a Capital Campaign to raise the funds needed to purchase and renovate our new home. I invite you to review our Campaign Booklet and consider making a personal gift.

Your financial contribution to the Capital Campaign is the most direct way to make an investment in the lives of the children we serve and secure the future of the Children’s Advocacy Center. If you choose to give, please make your contribution online or complete our simple Capital Campaign Donation Form. Just indicate that you would like to designate your gift to our Capital Campaign. Your tax-deductible donation will help children throughout Central Kentucky start on a safe path to recovery and healing.

Thank you for your consideration and support of our Capital Campaign.

 

 

CACBG Receives the GuideStar Exchange Seal as a Demonstration of Its Commitment to Transparency

LEXINGTON, Ky – The Children’s Advocacy Center of the Bluegrass announced today that is has received the GuideStar Exchange Seal, a leading symbol of transparency and accountability provided by GuideStar USA, Inc., the premier source of nonprofit information. The Seal demonstrates the organization’s deep commitment to nonprofit transparency and accountability.

“We have worked hard to showcase our progress toward our mission, and our long-held belief in being transparent about our work to our constituents,” said Andrew Oliver, Executive Director.

“As a GuideStar Exchange member, we will use their website to share up-to-date information about our work to our supporters and GuideStar’s immense online audience of grant-makers, individual donors, and the media. We are thrilled to have another platform to communicate our commitment to serving children while being good financial stewards.”

The GuideStar Exchange is an initiative designed to connect nonprofits with current and potential supporters. With millions of people coming to GuideStar to learn more about nonprofit organizations, the GuideStar Exchange allows nonprofits to share a wealth of information with GuideStar’s many audiences.

Thousands of Pinwheels Fill the Capitol

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — More than 5,000 silver pinwheels glittering on the front lawn of the state Capitol Thursday represented child victims of sexual abuse served by the children’s advocacy centers across Kentucky in 2011.

The pinwheels were part of a celebration of hope and healing that was part of the National Children’s Alliance’s ONE With Courage campaign and coincided with April’s designation as Child Abuse Awareness Month.

Meghan Wright, state coordinator of the Kentucky Association of Children’s Advocacy Centers; Laura Kretzer, the association’s board president; and Chief Deputy Attorney General Patrick Hughes spoke at a rally on the front steps of the state Capitol on Thursday afternoon to call attention to the problem of child abuse and efforts being made to deal with it.

Wright said that the 5,035 pinwheels signified the children who had been helped by the state’s 15 advocacy centers in fiscal year 2011, but were “only a sampling” of the thousands of children whose lives have been forever changed by abuse.

“Today we mourn for innocence lost, and it’s important that we begin there,” Wright said, adding the pinwheels signify the children had the courage to tell someone. “And because they told, we are able to celebrate the triumph of healing we have seen in their hearts.”

Kretzer described the work the children’s advocacy centers do in providing services for the investigation, treatment and prosecution of child sexual abuse cases. In 2001, they provided 3,183 forensic interviews and 1,021 medical examinations.

Hughes thanked the children’s advocates for their contributions and discussed his office’s efforts to fight child pornography and cyber-crimes against children.

Wright thanked the advocates’ supporters and partners, including legislators for their work on several child abuse bills during this year’s session of the General Assembly.

Two bills in particular stood out, she said: HB 519, which would broaden the definition of incest and raise the age of consent from 16 to 18 in some cases, and HB 350, a bill regarding human trafficking.

Both bills are “still on the table,” and she and other advocates hope they will pass on the last day of the session, April 12, she said.

Rep. Mike Nemes, R-Louisville, the sponsor of HB 519, was among those attending the rally.

In July, the Center hosted the first annual Summer Swing Golf Classic at Marriott’s Griffin Gate Golf Club in Lexington. The weather held out and 80 golfers took to the links to raise funds in support of the Center’s mission. We owe a special debt of gratitude to Urban Active who sponsored this inaugural event. We couldn’t have done it without their generous support!

 

On August 27, the Children’s Advocacy Center hosted its signature fundraising event at the R.J. Corman Hanger in Nicholasville. More than 200 guests enjoyed a beautiful night filled with great food and drink, music by the Swells, and an exciting live auction. The Center would like to extend special thanks to our hosts, Dave Baker and DeAnn Stephens, Event Chairperson, Barb Saunier, and Honorary Chairpersons Coach Matthew and Jenna Mitchell.

Murray McCandless, Herbert Miller, Bruce Simpson, and Ray Larson

Emily and Matthew Malone

Clint and Keri Long, Kirstin and Matthew Wiley

 

This editorial appeared in the Lexington Herald-Leader on November 13, 2011.
By Andrew Oliver 

The details contained in the 23-page grand jury report are so graphic and stomach-turning that many media outlets have chosen not to report the alleged acts.

Jerry Sandusky, a prominent coach and trusted mentor, now stands accused of raping eight children over the course of a decade. Since his indictment last week, at least two more individuals have come forward to accuse Sandusky of sexual abuse. The number of victims will surely rise in the coming days.

What happened at Penn State University is a tragedy of epic proportions and the emerging details suggest a widespread cover-up. A coaching legend, his athletic director, and university administrators all failed to intervene and report eyewitness accounts of abuse, and made no attempt to identify a child victim allegedly sodomized in their locker room.

Their inaction undoubtedly ensured that countless other children would suffer a similar, terrifying fate.

It’s easy, but not productive, to vilify Penn State and the culture of secrecy which allowed this to happen. It’s also shortsighted because this issue is bigger than the university. Child sexual abuse — the kind that’s every bit as horrifying as what is alleged at Penn State — happens every day in every community across the country.

The statistics are shocking. Nationally, one out of four girls and one out of six boys will be sexually abused before they reach their 18th birthday. What’s worse? Only one in 10 will ever tell.

Despite our outrage over the inaction in Pennsylvania, most of us never do anything when confronted with child abuse. A recent national survey found that only 26 percent of Americans reported child abuse when they witnessed it. The reasons for failing to report varied greatly. Some people didn’t know who to call and others felt it was none of their business.

Kentucky law explicitly states that anyone who suspects abuse or neglect of a child has a duty to report it.

If the Penn State tragedy can teach us anything, it’s that all adults have a moral and ethical responsibility to report suspected cases of child abuse, and to intervene if abuse is witnessed. The fulfillment of any legal obligation, which varies by state, is not a replacement for exercising a moral responsibility to ensure children are safe.

A child’s safety is an adult’s responsibility. Children cannot and should not be expected to protect themselves.

All adults should learn the signs of abuse and to be vigilant in protecting children. The biggest indicator that a child is being abused is if he or she discloses that abuse has occurred. Other signs include changes in behaviors (eating, sleeping, school performance, etc.) and unexplained injuries.

Some children display risk-taking behaviors and others may display inappropriate sexual behaviors. For more information, check out D2L.org and onewithcourage.org.

Sex offenders are clever about finding opportunities to gain access to children. They’re skilled at manipulating adults to lower their boundaries about contact with their children in the same way that they groom children for sexual contact. We spend a lot of time talking about “stranger-danger” but the reality is that sexual abuse is overwhelmingly committed by someone the family knows and trusts.

Parents should sense a red flag if any adult — a friend, coach, minister, teacher, or family member — seeks to spend significant amounts of time alone with their child.

Kentucky is fortunate to have 15 regional Children’s Advocacy Centers which provide comprehensive services to children and families affected by sexual abuse. Additionally, these centers are available to help community members learn more about protecting children and responding effectively to sexual abuse.

It’s evident in Pennsylvania that someone — anyone — should have done something. Children everywhere are counting on adults to speak up for them, so that this never happens again.

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