By Kate Thurston
---- — A report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds.
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. April has been a time to acknowledge the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse.
According to childhelp.com, every year more than 3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States involving more than 6 million children (a report can include multiple children). The United States has one of the worst records among industrialized nations, losing on average between four and seven children every day to child abuse and neglect.
For two decades, market research consistently has shown that the public views child abuse and neglect as a serious problem. As a national organization whose mission is "to prevent the abuse and neglect of our nation's children," Pinwheels for Prevention’s emphasis is to now transform that awareness into action. The organization now has that opportunity through the pinwheel, which reminds everyone of childlike notions and stands for the chance at the healthy, happy and full lives all children deserve.
“We are partnering with the Department of Child Services and Rush County,” Kathy Harrell, Program Manager for Rush County CASA, stated. “We are doing this event to bring awareness to people in our community, this is the main goal. There is an issue in Rush County with child abuse, but we also have so many people involved and helping victims.”
At 7:30 p.m. on April 8, speakers from DCS, CASA and Rush County government will speak about Pinwheels for Prevention. It will take place on the courthouse lawn. There will be a moment of silence by Center Christian Church and there will be a special performance by the Rushville Consolidated High School Madrigal Singers. There will be a Heart Gallery and refreshments.
“This is the first time we have had this on the courthouse lawn,” Harrell said. “Inside we will have a ‘Heart Gallery’ which are profiles of children that need a home.”
The Heart Gallery is a traveling photographic exhibit the Indiana Department of Child Services created in 2007 to help find forever families for children in foster care. The gallery will be on display from April 7-11 inside the courthouse.
Dana Burton, family case manager supervisor of the DCS agrees.
“We want to shed some light on this and get support from the community,” Burton said. “This is the second year we have done this and hope we have a great turnout. We want to focus on how the community can be that bright light for kids. People need to step up and be helpful. We want to focus on the positive.”
“We want to bring this awareness down to the county level, you hear about it so much nationally. We mainly want to bring awareness to everyone and this event, I think, will definitely help,” Harrell said.
Burton explained that children from various local daycares and the Boys and Girls Club are making luminaries to light for the ceremony. Pinwheels will be placed on the courthouse lawn by the Children's Bureau and will remain the remainder of the month of April.
Contact: Kate Thurston at 765-932-2222, ext. 105