By: Laura-Jane Hatcher (WRGA News)
Small, colorful pin wheels have been placed in the lawn of the Dempsey Building in Rome, where they will stay and spin for the rest of the month.
As April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, the Exchange Club Family Resource Center honored young abuse victims in our county Monday by placing the pinwheels and releasing 215 balloons into the air---and that’s not just a random number.
According to Exchange spokeswoman Amy Knitig (Ke-neck-tig), there were 215 substantiated child abuse or neglect cases in Floyd County last year. And, among those, four were fatalities.
Knitig says the best way to battle child abuse is to be involved and be aware.
“I think a lot of times we get into the mindset that it’s a certain demographic or a certain part of town. But, to be honest, it’s across the board and it could be happening right next door to any of us,” she says.
“I really just urge listeners to get involved; whether it’s with an agency or just in your little community of your neighborhood, or your employment, or your church or your schools or wherever you’re plugged in---just be aware of what’s going on and make yourself available. Folks can use can support if they’re in a crisis situation or not, and sometimes it just takes someone being aware and knowing they’re struggling.”
Rome is number one in the state for having the highest child removal rate per capita, but that doesn’t necessarily mean abuse is rampant; According to her, it could just mean our public safety and law officials hold citizens more accountable then other cities.