DAVIESS CO., KY (WFIE) - CASA of Ohio Valley in Daviess County serves over 100 children that are neglected or abused and over 100 more are on their wait list. So it was no surprise to officials when a new study came out saying that Kentucky has the highest child abuse rate in the nation.
The study shares statistics from 2017. Kentucky has a rate of about 22 victims per 1,000 children while the national average is nine.
“I’m disappointed I guess," Rosemary Conder the executive director of CASA of Ohio Valley said. "But surprised? No.”
Conder says Kentucky is a mandatory report state, which means if someone sees signs of child abuse, they must report it.
“People are starting to pay attention to the children at school and at the grocery store and at church and letting the authorities know," Conder said. "So the reports are higher for Kentucky, but maybe it’s because we care a little more too.”
Conder thinks the drug abuse in the state is what’s tearing apart so many families.
“Substance abuse in the parent care giver, if we don’t intervene there somehow I don’t see the numbers getting better," she explained.
Conder says it is almost impossible to break the cycle with how much drug abuse there is in the county. But she says they are doing everything in their power to get those numbers to go down.