Kentucky was once known for Kentucky Wildcat basketball, Kentucky Derby, or its fine whiskey one can sample on the famous Bourbon trail but for the past three years, Kentucky has had the dubious distinction of being number one in the nation for substantiated sexual abuse cases against children.

How does a state ranked 26th in population in the country rank number one in this shameful, soul-shattering scourge? Is it drugs, poverty, mental health, or is it the percentage of Kentuckians living in rural, isolated areas? Is the reason not enough social workers, or judges too lenient on offenders, many are family members that should be protecting these kids. I personally believe it to be a combination of all these factors. But something is wrong with the heart of many Kentuckians that just ignore this evil, hoping that it will just go away.

Edmund Burke once said, “ The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” I will be bold enough to say that if we had the same passion we have for our finances or sports, we could stamp out this hideous curse upon our great state in a year’s time frame.

I have donated all my royalties from my latest book The Last of the Soul Searchers to the Barren River Child Advocacy Center in Bowling Green, Ky. This center served over 800 children in the 10 county area that comprises BRADD. The center provides a multifaceted therapeutic approach to assist these innocent, traumatized children. Services include medical exams, mental health services, forensic interviews, and victim advocacy and support.

I have personally witnessed these professionals in action, and I am amazed at their compassion, empathy, and dedication to these kids. That’s why I will be rappelling from the Stadium Park Plaza on Sept. 11. I will raise $1,000 bucks for my kids and you can join me.

Please, let’s work together to make sure Kentucky is known for the external beauty of our lakes, rivers, and caves, and the internal beauty of the hearts and souls of its inhabitants.

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