A total of 300 pinwheels were placed Thursday morning with the help of multiple local agencies, including Wilson County Court Appointed Special Advocates, the Keith Edmonds Foundation and the West Wilson Exchange Club.
According to Nancy Willis, executive director of the 15th Judicial District Child Advocacy Center, each pinwheel represents a child who was severely physically or sexually abused and helped by the Child Advocacy Center.
Two signs accompany the pinwheels, one with the Child Advocacy Center’s logo and another with the words, “These pinwheels represent children who were served at the 15th Judicial Child Advocacy Center.”
The pinwheels will remain on display at the location for the duration of Child Abuse Prevention Month.
The mission of the Child Advocacy Center is to reduce the trauma of child abuse and facilitate the healing process. Almost 1,000 families were served since the local center opened in 2008.
The 15th Judicial District Child Advocacy Center represents Wilson, Smith, Macon, Jackson and Trousdale counties.
Child Abuse Prevention Month is intended to serve as a time to acknowledge the importance of families and communities coming together to prevent child abuse and neglect and to promote the emotional wellbeing of children.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, child maltreatment can have adverse mental and physical health outcomes in children and families, and those effects can last a lifetime.
In addition to the impact abuse has on a child, it also affects law enforcement judicial and public services and nonprofit agencies as they respond to incidents and support victims.
The Department of Health and Human Services sites an analysis of the immediate and long-term economic impact of child abuse and neglect that suggests general child maltreatment could cost the nation as much as $258 million each day, or about $94 billion each year.
Other local agencies, including the Court Appointed Special Advocates, the Keith Edmonds Foundation and the West Wilson Exchange Club, all work to promote awareness of the prevalence of child abuse and to create a safer environment for local children.
For more information about the Child Advocacy Center, visit cac15.org. For more information about Child Abuse Prevention Month, visit childwelfare.gov.