The Children's Advocacy Project, which provides forensic services for alleged victims of child abuse, is marking national Child Abuse Prevention Month with its annual display of pinwheels.

The pinwheel represents healthy, happy childhoods, and is the official symbol of child abuse prevention, according to a news release from the CAP.

The Children's Advocacy Project historically has invited the community to plant pinwheels at its office at 350 N. Ash St., but people are staying at home to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

So this year its staff planted the pinwheel garden themselves.

Each pinwheel -- 326 of them -- represents a child victim of abuse and maltreatment served by the agency in 2019.

"Though we cannot come together, we still hope that these pinwheels will serve as a visual reminder of the child abuse that continues to occur in our own community," the news release said.

"We encourage you to plant a pinwheel in front of your home or business as a way of honoring those who have helped you or your children experience a childhood without abuse and neglect."

The Children’s Advocacy Project was founded in 2002 to work with law enforcement and other agencies to provide forensic and comprehensive services for alleged victims of child abuse.

Children who are allegedly victims of child abuse are interviewed at the CAP, and their testimony often is critical in convicting abusers, such as the recent case of Phillip G. Thompson.

The CAP said it minimizes trauma to children, helps break the cycle of abuse, and fosters a more effective community response to child maltreatment throughout the state and surrounding areas.

Tom Morton, Townsquare Media
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