A field of pinwheels on the lawn of Platt's Funeral Home on North Belair Road is there to remind passers-by of children in Columbia County who suffered abuse at the hands of a parent or loved one.
Pinwheels for Prevention is an initiative by the National Exchange Club to promote awareness of child abuse and neglect. It coincides with National Child Abuse Prevention Month in April.
A fact sheet from the Exchange Club of Columbia County says of the nearly 54,000 cases of child abuse and neglect reported in Georgia from mid-2004 to mid-2005, 171 were reported in Columbia County.
Just more than a dozen Exchange Club members braved a downpour Saturday to place pinwheels on the lawn of Platt's in Evans, with each representing a reported case of abuse and neglect in the county.
Jeff Asselin, the president of the Exchange Club of Columbia County, said the goal of the display is to educate the public on how widespread the problem really is. "We want to teach people how to handle their aggression instead of beating their kid," he said. "Kids are helpless."
As part of its mission to prevent child abuse, Asselin said, the club produces literature promoting the use of timeouts as a discipline technique. But timeouts are not just a discipline technique for children, he said.
"People (need to) think before hurting their children either physically or emotionally. The parents need to take a timeout and reflect,"Asselin said, adding that the club wants to build an awareness for parents to ask themselves, "Am I abusing my child mentally or physically?"
The Pinwheels for Prevention will remain at Platt's until Saturday morning, when the club will move the display to the Walgreens at Washington Road and Bobby Jones Expressway. From there the display moves to the Evans courthouse April 15, and to Club Car on Washington Road on April 22-30.
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