April is Child Abuse Prevention Month
By its very nature, the pinwheel evokes whimsy and childlike wonder. It serves as the physical embodiment and reminder of the great childhoods we want for all children.
This April 2018, blue and silver pinwheels will be on display in 60 pinwheel gardens throughout Ottawa County to raise awareness for Child Abuse Prevention Month. On Tuesday, April 10, the SCAN Council (Stop Child Abuse and Neglect) planted a pinwheel garden at the Ottawa County Fillmore Street Complex.
The schools in Ottawa and Allegan counties are partnering with the Center to help raise awareness and funds for the children we serve. We are so excited that this year there are new ways that kids are helping kids. Blue Star Elementary from Hamilton School District had a Helping Hat Day and the entire Zeeland Public School district's elementary schools participated in a Crazy Hat Day to help raise awareness and funds for the Center. We LOVE it when #kidshelpkids!
Our community partners are displaying pinwheel potted gardens at their workplaces and businesses to help raise awareness that #preventionispossible.
We are also selling our Keep Calm and Protect Children t-shirts again this year! Purchase yours here.
Grateful for all of YOU who support #CAPMonth and the children and families we serve!
We know what we do works. We help children develop into happy, healthy children and adults. Pinwheels are the symbol of a happy, healthy childhood and we believe that every child deserves to get that back. We believe that child abuse is a community problem and can only be solved with the help of the community. We could not do our work without you.
Hudsonville, MI –The Children’s Advocacy Center of Ottawa County is excited to hold our 9th annual Advocates in Action Luncheon at the Pinnacle Center in Hudsonville on Friday, May 4, 2018 at 11:00 am. All proceeds from this event will go directly to the Children’s Advocacy Center of Ottawa County.
This year the keynote speaker for the Advocates in Action Luncheon will be Rachael Denhollander. Rachael is the first victim to come forward in the Larry Nassar child sexual abuse case. Rachael began a career in gymnastics at the age of 12 which would put her in the path of one of the country’s most prolific pedophiles: Michigan State University’s (MSU) famed osteopathic physician, Larry Nassar. Nassar was an expert in gymnastics-related injuries and served as the Olympic team physician and National Medical Coordinator for the women’s artistic gymnastics programs. Rachael began to see Larry Nassar for treatment shortly after her 15th birthday and was sexually assaulted by him under the guise of medical treatment for nearly a year.
In 2016, the Indianapolis Star published an explosive report on the United States Association of Gymnastics (USAG) detailing decades of mishandling sexual assault allegations against member coaches. Reading the report, she knew it was the first chance that someone might finally believe that USAG’s own team physician was also a sexual predator. She contacted the IndyStar immediately to report her abuse by Larry and told them she would do whatever was needed to make sure Larry could no longer prey on women and children.
Following her initial report, Larry was arrested and then indicted for charges related to child pornography and to sexually assaulting minors in two Michigan counties. In July of 2017, Larry plead guilty to three charges related to child pornography and in November plead guilty to ten counts of first-degree sexual assault, including the charges brought in Rachael’s case. To-date, more than 125 women have filed police reports of sexual assault against Nassar and more than 140 have accused him in criminal or civil complaints of sexual assault.
Rachael has continued to advocate for the victims and speak publicly to confront the institutional and societal dynamics that made it possible for Larry to abuse women and children for more than 20 years. She has appeared on NBC, CBS, HLN, CNN, ESPN and numerous state and local news services. Rachael has advocated for victims through print journalism in The Washington Post, Fox News, PEOPLE Magazine and many state and local newspapers and has been interviewed on many state and national radio programs. Her passion is to help others understand the impact of sexual assault so that each person is better equipped to offer help and care to those affected by sexual assault, to explore and understand the societal dynamics surrounding sexual assault, and to advocate for the societal and institutional reform necessary to better protect women and children from sexual violence.
The Children's Advocacy Center provides child sexual abuse intervention and prevention services to residents of Ottawa County completely free of charge. Child sexual abuse is an often unseen, but devastating problem in our local communities as well as throughout the country. One in 10 children are sexually abused before their 18th birthday. The Children's Advocacy Center helps reduce the trauma to children and their families and educate parents and children about body safety. We cannot do it without you. Join us for our 9th Annual Advocates in Action Luncheon to raise community awareness and offer your support.
For ticket information or sponsorship opportunities, contact Rebekah Bakker at (616)393-6123 or by email: email@example.com.
We All Can Play a Part in Building Community, Building Hope
The CAC will hold a groundbreaking ceremony on April 14th to kick off a building expansion and capital campaign that will nearly double the Center’s current footprint. The goal of the expansion is to increase space to meet the growing demands for innovative treatment therapy, expand resources for children and families, and increase prevention education and outreach throughout the community.
April is nationally recognized as Child Abuse Prevention Month, and the Children’s Advocacy Center encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making Ottawa County a better place for children and families. By ensuring that parents and community members have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for their children, we can help prevent child abuse by making meaningful connections and providing education and awareness. The CAC has partnered with local businesses and municipalities to help raise awareness by displaying banners, hosting pinwheel gardens, and decorating parks with blue ribbons as a visual reminder to help protect children and in support for those who have been victims of abuse.
“April is a time to celebrate the important role that communities play in protecting children and strengthening families,” said Executive Director Darcy Komejan. “Everyone’s participation is critical. Focusing on ways to connect with families is the best thing our community can do to strengthen families and prevent child abuse and neglect. We are thrilled that our groundbreaking ceremony and capital campaign begin at the same time that our community is coming together to support Child Abuse Prevention Month. To learn more about the programs, resources offered by the CAC please call 616-393-6123 or visit cac-ottawa.org.
We would like to thank the following businesses downtown Holland for displaying Pinwheel Gardens to help raise awareness about child sexual abuse:
Holland Peanut Store, Cranes in the City, Orange Leaf Yogurt, Peachwave, Hops, Crust 54, Subs N More, Globe, Bores Shoes, Gliks (women), Gliks (men), Home, Chicos, Trends on 8th, Merle Norman, Design Works Interiors, 8th Street Grill, JosABanks, Engeti Salon, Sand Castle,Blue Veranda, Teermans , Fustinis, 8th St. Salon, Seasoned Home, Karla's Place, Francescas, Readers World, JB & Me, and the Bridge.
There will be large blue bows in Centennial Park in Holland as well as banners located throughout the county.
You can help raise awareness and protect children by purchasing our limited edition Keep Calm and Protect Children Prevention Month t-shirts here: https://goodink.com/keepcalmprotectchildren or you could win a shirt by taking a selfie by one of our pinwheel gardens located in businesses throughout Holland and tag #hollandpinwheels2017 and uploading it to Facebook and we will randomly select one selfie to win a Keep Clam and Protect Children shirt!