CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - You may see blue pinwheels on shirts or in the ground around downtown Charleston. The pinwheels are part of National Child Abuse Prevention Month and represent the goal of helping children live happy and healthy lives.
On Monday morning, City of Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg announced the City of Charleston’s designation as a “2021 Pinwheel City.”
Representatives from South Carolina’s Trust and Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center spoke about awareness and encouraged adults to talk with children in their lives about these tough conversations.
“You have the opportunity to take this April as a chance to say: What are you talking to your child about with boundaries? Ask the children in your life if they have rules about body safety. Ask them who they will tell if someone breaks a child safety boundary rule. Be a safe adult for them. Tell them that you are someone they can tell if someone breaks that rule,” Executive Director of Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center Dr. Carole Swiecicki said. “We know that even though one in eight children are experiencing abuse, seven of eight will not be abused this year and we want to focus on preventing abuse from happening to children so next year it’s fewer children.”
The CEO of South Carolina Children’s Trust, Sue Williams, said the pandemic has impacted the work she and her colleagues do in South Carolina.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the need to overhaul the current system into a twenty-first century, well-being system approach where families seeking help are seen as showing strength and resiliency instead of stigmatized or portrayed negatively,” Williams said. She also said there were more than 16,000 founded cases of child abuse and neglect in South Carolina last year.
You can read about resources these groups offer by clicking the following links: