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Pinwheels for Child Abuse Prevention

Written By: Asha McKenzie
Pinwheels for Child Abuse Prevention
BATH (WENY) -- April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. In honor of that, The Steuben County Youth Bureau held their annual Pinwheels and Promises campaign today.
     This is the 4th year that this campaign has been happening and it is growing strong.      
     Workers at the event are pushing to spread awareness of child abuse and they are promising to help and protect local children.
     Michelle Barnes a volunteer at the event has a personal experience with child abuse. Her nephew passed in February of 2013 due to child abuse.
     "He claims that he couldn't handle my nephew crying. So, he did somethings to him," says Barnes.
     Still healing from the death of her nephew, Michelle is fighting for children who can't fight for themselves.
     "People aren't aware," says Barnes. "I use myself to get the word out there about child abuse awarenss."
     60 of these pinwheels were made just this morning and 3,000 more will be made and distrubuted throughout Steuben County to raise awarness about child abuse.
     Steuben County alone gets roughly 2,000 reports a year. Generally, a quarter of those reports show signs that abuse has actually taken place.
     Bill Caudwill, Steuben County Youth Bureau Program Coordinatoor, says "We can dwell down and we can get depressed by the number of cases there are, the fact is one case is too many."
     Caudwill says the pinwheel symbolizes childhood; a time that should be beautiful and carefree. Participants wrote their own promises to protect local kids.
     Kathryn Muller, Commission of Social Services says that over the years, they have reached many people and are helping to spread awareness.
     "Many people really don't understand child abuse," says Muller. "And it's been a true advantage for individuals to recognize child abuse and what measure they can take if they see a situation."
     Coordinators of the event are hoping that those who display a pinwheel will make a promise to do something that will make a difference in a child's life.
     And for Barnes....
     "This is my healing process, by doing this."