LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Outside of Norton Children’s Hospital on Monday, pinwheels were planted in order to bring awareness to child abuse in Kentucky.
The pinwheel is a national symbol for child abuse prevention. The ones outside Norton Children’s Hospital represent 22,000 victims statewide.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Children’s Bureau, Kentucky has the highest abuse rate in the country -- 22 out of every 1,000 children.
Indiana has the second highest -- 19 of every 1,000.
“Our hope is that all these high numbers (mean) we’re getting kids earlier,” Erika Janes, a nurse at Norton Children’s Hospital, said. “Our deaths have come down in the last couple years, the numbers are way down as far as deaths. So our goal is to prevent it entirely, but if we can’t prevent it entirely at least get to the kids before something extremely tragic happens.”
Child abuse deaths in Kentucky have dropped from 15 in 2016 to 10 in 2017. The Hoosier state reported 78 deaths in 2017, compared with 70 in 2016 and 34 in 2015.
Pinwheel gardens will also be planted at Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital and Norton Children’s Medical Center in Louisville.