Today Attorney General Andy Beshear, in partnership with the Child Victims’ Trust Fund, announced nearly $80,000 in grants to cover costs associated with more than 1,000 child sexual abuse forensic exams.
Beshear said the funding will be utilized throughout the current fiscal year and shared among the state’sthat serve children in every county in Kentucky.
An advocacy center’s forensic program is designed to assist law enforcement, social services and the medical community in the investigation of suspected cases of child sexual abuse. The program consists of a forensic interview and a specialized child sexual abuse examination. Forensic interviews and exams are only provided at the request of law enforcement or social workers as part of their investigations.
Since taking office in 2016, the fund has covered the costs associated with 15,664 exams, Beshear said.
“Before reaching their 18th birthday, one in 10 children experience child sexual abuse, so every day my team and I are working to prevent this abuse and seek justice for each victim,” Beshear said. “I encourage those who wish to join our mission of preventing child abuse and supporting survivors to consider a donation to the Child Victims’ Trust Fund.”
In addition to providing reimbursement for the exams, the Fund provides support for child sexual abuse prevention programs.
The Fund allocated over $100,000 this fiscal year cycle, with more than $70,000 going to child protection agencies in northern and western Kentucky that will train even more children, families and communities on how to prevent child abuse.
The fund also helped support Beshear’s partnership with Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky to train 469 individuals statewide whose organizations serve more than 100,000 Kentucky kids annually on how to protect children from sexual abuse by implementing best practices policies and protocols.
Beshear created the Office of Child Abuse and Exploitation Prevention when he entered office in 2016. The office administers the Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Prevention Board, created under Kentucky law as a 170(c)(1) nonprofit organization, which allocates funding from the fund.
Those interested in donating to the Child Victims’ Trust Fund can do so in three ways:
· Through adirectly to the fund.
· Purchase of anat your county clerk’s office.
· Donations made through the stateprogram.
Beshear reminds Kentuckians that everyone has a moral and legal duty to report any instance of child abuse to local law enforcement or to Kentucky’s Child Abuse hotline at 877-597-2331 or 877-KYSAFE1.