Archdiocese prepares to mark National Child Abuse Prevention Month

John Gehrke

For more information on child abuse prevention or for information on any event planned for the month of April, contact Hilton at 765-457-9313.

A thousand pinwheels came to life Friday afternoon as a light breeze swept through the corner of George and Clinton streets, the whirling colors marking the start of Child Abuse Awareness Month and the continuation of advocacy for our most vulnerable youth. Abuse or neglect can rob children of their sense of dignity and worth, which are indispensable to the pursuit of happiness and success in the classroom, in the workplace, and in relationships. April is devoted to celebrating everything we can do to transform our communities into places that care about and actively support families and children.

The Child Advocacy Center serves as a safe place for victims of abuse and their families to speak with law enforcement as well as receive help with legal, mental health, medical, prosecution and other services.

"We need to be active in our community and show our children that we are there for them", said Shannon Gray, program manager for Stewards of Children Initiative. Clark helps ease the trauma of being interviewed during child abuse investigations, and brought her five children along to participate in Pinwheels for Prevention.

The Burke Child Collaborative, BCPS FUTuRES program, and individual agencies planted 18 pinwheel gardens in 2015.

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Day of Hope is an annual community event and this year's organizers include Sky Lakes Medical Center, the Department of Human Services, Klamath-Lake CARES (Child Abuse Response and Evaluation Services), Klamath & Lake Community Action Services, Lutheran Community Services and Cascade Health Alliance. Child abuse and neglect is just as pervasive in wealthy families as it is in lower income families. "It is a reminder of the great childhoods we want for all children".

"The blue and white pinwheel is a symbol of child abuse prevention", she said. Wood said it's estimated that two children are abused every day in Boulder County.

Pinwheels will be popping up soon and they're more than just a pretty spring addition.

A child releases balloons at the kickoff event for Child Abuse Prevention Month in Huntington.

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