In recognition of Child Abuse Prevention month, community leaders gathered on April 11 in front of the courthouse for a vigil in honor of victims of child abuse and neglect in Yadkin County. A moment of 66 seconds of silence was observed for the 66 victims of confirmed cases of child abuse and neglect in the county from last year. A garden of blue pinwheels also remains in front of the courthouse as a reminder.
“We do this pinwheel garden every year and each pinwheel represents one of the children that was abused and neglected in Yadkin County,” said Marcy Mays, Yadkin County social services assistant director.
Mays also read aloud from the proclamation signed earlier this month by county commissioners declaring April to be Child Abuse Prevention Month.
That proclamation reads in part, “Children are vital to our state’s future success, prosperity, and quality of life as being our most vulnerable assets. All children deserve to have safe, stable, nurturing and healthy homes and communities that foster their well-being. Child abuse and neglect is a public responsibility affecting both the current and future quality of life of a state and county. Parents need support and resources to cope with stress and nurture their children to grow to their full potential. Effective child abuse prevention strategies succeed because of partnerships created among citizens, human services agencies, schools, faith communities, health care providers, civic organizations, law enforcement agencies and the business community.”
Members of the school system, law enforcement, mental health agencies and the county human services department were present for the vigil. Following the 66 seconds of silence, attendees also had the opportunity to watch the film “Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope,” a film about the long-lasting effects of child abuse.
Mays reiterated points from the proclamation and said how important it is for families to know that resources are available to help them and she also reinforced the importance of collaboration among agencies.
Catharine Davidson, Guardian ad Litem supervisor, also was present for the event and said the organization is always in need of volunteers to serve as advocates for children. For more information on becoming a GAL volunteer, visit www.volunteerforgal.org.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter and Instagram @RippleReporterK.