KY Is Fighting Child Abuse

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Kentucky Is Fighting Child Abuse and Neglect.

Do your part to fight Child Abuse in Kentucky

As we embark on a new year, we at Kosair Charities are looking ahead to a commonwealth that ensures all of our kids are free from abuse.  Through our Face It Campaign, Kosair Charities is committed to ensuring hardworking and dedicated nonprofits in Louisville and across Kentucky have the resources they need to end the plague of child abuse and neglect, and to end it now.

The Face It Campaign works closely with over 40 partner organizations to prevent child abuse and neglect in our communities by focusing on education, awareness, practice, and policy improvements.

The Face It policy team has been hard at work identifying priority policy changes needed at the state level.  In years past, we’ve secured state funding for the Child Fatality and Near Fatality External Review Panel and closed gaps in education around abuse and neglect for professionals who regularly interact with children.  We continue to look upstream in our efforts to prevent child abuse and neglect by advocating for common sense policies that lead to large-scale, proactive differences.  Kosair Charities is the safety net to ensure all children in Kentucky have better tomorrows.

Each year during the Kentucky General Assembly, Face It partners actively work on several policies that focus on preventing and ending abuse.  The 2018 priorities keep kids safe by prioritizing adequately funded systems, increasing transparency, and ensuring a child’s voice in court is heard.

  • We aim to keep kids safe from abuse and neglect with adequate funding and improvements in how we respond to and support families.  For children who cannot remain safely with their parents, grandparents and other relatives often step up to help raise them, commonly known as kinship care.  Kinship care offers a beneficial alternative to foster care and helps to relieve trauma children often face upon removal from their home. Regardless of where a child is placed, children do best when the entire system of child welfare prioritizes supporting families or swiftly finding a permanent family for children who can’t return home.
  • Our goal is to increase transparency by recommending moving functions related to appeals and cases within the Office of the Ombudsman to outside of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.  To ensure children are protected and cared for, to increase transparency and accountability, and reduce potential conflicts of interest, several states locate their Ombudsman’s office for children’s services in an independent location. These measures would keep kids at the center of the Ombudsman’s Office’s decisions.
  • We want to see policymakers keep kids safer from abuse by allowing adults to whom a child has disclosed abuse to testify in court.  When adults are held accountable in the court system, kids are safer from abuse.  If a child has been a victim of abuse, trauma and fear may affect their ability to testify in court.  Their fear or inability should not prevent a judge from hearing accurate information about a child’s experience, which is crucial in reaching an informed decision in child abuse cases.  If a child has disclosed information about abuse to an adult, that adult could testify about that disclosure.

Everyone plays a role in ending child abuse and neglect in the commonwealth. Kosair Charities works on every level of the system to ensure children have the supports they need to be safe and healthy with opportunities to thrive. Learn more at

Michigan Father Arrested For Child Abuse

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Father, 22, arrested for Child Abuse.

Man arrested in Escanaba on Child Abuse charge

ESCANABA, MI  –  Escanaba Public Safety was notified Friday of an infant who was brought into OSF St. Francis Hospital emergency room with signs of physical child abuse.

Escanaba Public Safety questioned the 21-year-old mother and 22-year-old father of the infant, and arrested the father for child abuse.

He was taken to the Delta County Correctional Facility where he is being held on $500,000 cash bond.  The mother was released.

The infant has been transferred to St. Vincent Children’s Hospital in Green Bay, Wisconsin, for what are believed to be non-life threatening injuries.

Escanaba Public Safety was assisted by OSF St. Francis Hospital, State of Michigan, Department of Human Services, Child Protective Services, and the Delta County Prosecutors Office.

Where A Childs Voice Is Heard And Respected

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Where A Childs Voice Is Heard And Respected.

Button Ball fundraiser supports Davis House
programs for families affected by Child Abuse

Franklin, TN  –  Davis House Child Advocacy Center, a Franklin-based nonprofit that provides services to children who have faced sexual or severe physical abuse, will host its major fundraising event of the year, Button Ball 2018 (formerly Legacy Ball), on Saturday, March 3, at The Factory at Franklin.

NewsChannel 5 anchor Rhori Johnston will return as Master of Ceremonies, and Heidi Schwartz will again provide a unique Paint Your Event experience with a memorable interpretive live painting, capturing the evening on canvas. This painting will then be featured in a live auction at the close of the Ball.  A special guest speaker (a former child client of Davis House) will share her story.

The evening will start with a wine reception and silent auction beginning at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m.  Dancing will follow the dinner, program and live auction.  A “Not-So- Silent Auction” will also take place to add to the excitement.

This black-tie- optional gala draws well over 300 attendees annually.

Ticket prices are $125 per person.  Online ticket registration and business sponsorship opportunities are available at

Businesses interested in providing silent auction items can contact Tara Tidwell, Marketing & Community Outreach Coordinator, at 615-790-5900 x 104 or

“Button Ball is our way of having fun while fighting the very serious problem of child abuse,” says Marcus Stamps, executive director of Davis House. “Children facing abuse need to know they can count on adults in the community to help them and give them hope.  These are our children, and we need to be there for them.  Public investment in Davis House is necessary to eliminate child abuse and for us to continue delivering the level of service our community has become accustomed to as we serve these children and their families.”

National statistics indicate one in ten children will be victims of sexual abuse by their 18th birthday.

Button Ball emphasizes the Button Jar story, which Davis House utilizes with all child clients and which is used to engage the public in their mission.  The children who come to Davis House for the first time feel as if they are the only one.  They feel alone.  They are scared, sometimes ashamed, and often embarrassed about why they are there, even though it is not their fault.  Each child on their first visit to Davis House picks out a button from the button box. They place their button into the Button Jar, which contains all the buttons from the children who have come before them.  On the jar are the words “You Are Not Alone.”

“Each button represents a child,” Stamps adds. “So to those of us at Davis House, a single button is worth everything.”

Davis House is an accredited child advocacy center by the National Children’s Alliance and is committed to providing a safe environment where a child’s voice is heard and respected.

Davis House served 465 new child clients last year in its four-county service area of Williamson, Hickman, Lewis and Perry counties.

With three locations, our Centers work to empower non-offending parents to protect their children, provides healing and hope through advocacy and counseling services, and actively participates in the state mandated Child Protective Investigative Team (CPIT) as it responds to allegations of child abuse.

Davis House Child Advocacy Center combats child abuse by coordinating services to children and their families in crisis and providing community education focused on prevention and early intervention.

For additional information about Davis House Child Advocacy Center and the services provided, please visit

Human Trafficking Awareness

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Latest trends in U.S. Child Sex Trafficking

Today we are excited to share our newest research.  Survivors have graciously allowed us to hear their stories, and in order for us all to be a part of the solution, we’re excited to share their stories with you.

Explore the Findings

Participants’ age of entry into the life

  • Youngest age of entry was less than 1-year-old
  • One in six were under the age of 12
  • Most frequently reported age is 15

Two themes in U.S. child sex trafficking emerged from this report:

  1. Technology is playing an increasing role in grooming and controlling victims of child sex trafficking.  75% of victims who entered the life in the past decade were advertised online.
  2. Less familiar forms of child trafficking, including those trafficked by family members or without a clear trafficker, are emerging.  80% of all victims under 10 were trafficked by a family member.

Without survivor input, our anti-trafficking movement risks wasting time and resources — and most importantly, endangering children.  We are truly grateful to all of the organizations and survivors that shared their stories and made this work possible.

Today is #HumanTraffickingAwarenessDay, and our research also showed that 2 out of 3 survivors never saw a help resource during their abuse.  You can change that by sharing the Human Trafficking hotline today everywhere you have a community on social media.

Spread The Word

“Survivor insights keep us grounded in the reality and complexity of their experience so that the best interventions can be developed to defend children from sexual abuse.”
Brooke Istook, Director of Strategy & Operations

WA Couple Apparently Grew Up Together

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Melvin W. Bledsoe, 27

Post Falls couple accused of felony Child Abuse also face charges of incest

Spokane, WA  –  Three months after their arrests in connection to a grievous child abuse case, Melvin W. Bledsoe and Joy T. Anderson remain in Kootenai County jail.

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Joy T. Anderson, 30

Bledsoe and Anderson, half-siblings accused of severely beating, starving and tying up Bledsoe’s 6-year-old son in the Post Falls area, both were charged with felony injury to a child in October.  During the abuse investigation, according to court documents, detectives uncovered information to support charging the two with incest.

Bledsoe’s and Anderson’s bonds have been set at $200,000 and $75,000.

Anderson, 30, and Bledsoe, 27, have pleaded not guilty.

According to Post Falls police, the boy, whom Bledsoe and Anderson took to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in October, was suffering from a split pancreas and had scars and scabs all over his body.  The boy had several fresh wounds, dried blood on his body, ulcers on his legs and a cauliflower ear, police said.

Bledsoe and Anderson are accused of delaying the child’s treatment when he had life-threatening injuries.  Both alleged abusers face maximum sentences of life in prison.

“(The child) was hiding food, was requesting the foster mom bring food and had many indicators that he was starved for some time,” prosecuting attorney Laura McLinton said in a court hearing.  “He was eating household items, including a pillow, because he didn’t have food.”

The child, who was primarily home-schooled, according to court files, quickly gained 5 pounds after he was sent to the hospital, McLinton said.  He is in protective care.

This isn’t the first time Bledsoe has been accused of abusing the boy.

In 2012, Bledsoe pleaded guilty to felony injury of a child after slapping the boy, who was then 9 months old, according to court records.  Child Protective Services temporarily took the baby from him, according to records.

In the 2012 case, Anderson, a married mother of three at the time, lived with Bledsoe and testified against him.

In the 2017 abuse case, Anderson and Bledsoe told police that the boy sustained his injuries from being “clumsy,” saying he crashed his bike, fell down the stairs and also fell on a rock at a park.

A former neighbor in Rathdrum told police the boy often was lying face down on the bed with ropes tied around his wrists, the police report said.  The same neighbor said he sometimes witnessed Bledsoe picking up the boy and throwing him into a wall.