Three-year-old Annabelle joined the Safe Harbor Children’s Advocacy Center of Allegan to plant blue and silver pinwheels Tuesday, April 10, to raise awareness that April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. (Photo by Virginia Ransbottom)

Safe Harbor plants Pinwheels for Prevention

By: 
Virginia Ransbottom, Staff Writer

Friends, family and volunteers joined the Safe Harbor Children’s Advocacy Center in Allegan in planting blue and silver pinwheels Tuesday, April 10, to raise awareness that April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.

The pinwheel is the symbol for a happy childhood and hope. The color blue represents child abuse and neglect awareness. Safe Harbor also requested the bridge be lighted in blue lights during the month of April.

Five children in the United States die every day of abuse or neglect in the home. In Allegan County, more than 3,120 investigations of child abuse and neglect were conducted in 2017.

Safe Harbor board vice president Myrene Koch who also serves as the county’s new prosecutor, said the county is fortunate to have Safe Harbor not only to advocate and counsel for children but also to provide prevention services. Since the beginning of this year, 2,600 children have learned about safe touches through a body safety “Okay to Tell” program taught by  Safe Harbor.

A declaration by the City of Allegan gave a reminder that child abuse prevention is “an acknowledged community responsibility to promote family cohesion and resiliency, provide social support systems and encourage child development education in order to prevent the maltreatment of children.”

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