Pinwheels Placed Around Arkansas For Child Abuse Awareness Month

FORT SMITH, Ark. (KFSM) — Today marks the first day of National Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month and one local group is doing their part to bring awareness.

This nationally recognized event acknowledges the importance of communities working together to prevent child physical and sexual abuse.

Monday (April 1) volunteers placed pinwheels on the lawn at Mercy Hospital in Fort Smith.

Each pinwheel represents a child who has suffered from abuse in the River Valley but has been helped by the Hamilton House. More than 100 pinwheels were put in the ground.

"It's an honor but's it's also sad that we have to have some place where we provide services to child victims of abuse," said Hamilton House Executive Director Jackie Hamilton. "One year we saw 827 children of abuse that's a sad sad situation."

Because of it's happy and uplifting meaning, pinwheels are the national symbol for child abuse prevention.

In 2018 alone, the Children’s Safety Center saw 838 alleged child abuse victims primarily from Washington County and most of those were sexual abuse allegations. That is a 24 percent increase from 2017, according to Emily Rappe' Fisher, Development Director at Children's Safety Center.

The Children’s Safety Center is the only center of its kind in Washington County providing child advocacy, forensic interviewing, sexual assault examinations, mental health therapy and child abuse prevention training.

Pinwheel placement events for Washington and Benton Counties are listed below.

Tuesday | April 2 | 9:00 a.m.

Lincoln High School

Tuesday | April 2 | 9:30 a.m.

Prairie Grove City Hall

Tuesday | April 2 | 10:00 a.m.

Farmington City Hall

Mayor Erin Penn to read the Proclamation

Tuesday | April 2 | 10:30 a.m.

Haas Hall Fayetteville

Tuesday | April 2 | 2:00 p.m. 

Greenland High School

Tuesday | April 2 | 3:00 p.m.

West Fork Town Square

Friday | April 5 | 11:30 a.m.

Bentonville Square

Benton County Children's Advocacy Center

Friday | April 5 | 12:45 p.m.

Highfill City Hall

Benton County Children's Advocacy Center

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