pinwheels

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month!

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At the Children’s Advocacy Center, we are excited to celebrate Child Abuse Prevention Month in April 2019. In Ottawa County, at least 1 in 10 children will be sexually abused before they reach adulthood; that is the equivalent of 6,800 children in our county today1. We understand that those statistics can be overwhelming, producing fear or even apathy. However, these numbers are slowly declining due to sustained and evidence-based prevention efforts, and that is something to celebrate and use as motivation to continue! As members of the Ottawa County SCAN Council (Stop Child Abuse and Neglect), it is our goal to live in a community in which no child experiences any form of abuse, and we want you to join us in our mission.  

With this goal in mind, we are taking the month of April to join national efforts to increase awareness around not only child abuse, but the power that each of us has to keep the children in our lives safe.  Prevention is not complicated or difficult; by building resilience, awareness and knowledge of child abuse and how to prevent it we can improve the safety of our families and community for every child2.

How can you add tools to your power to prevent child sexual abuse? Here are some options to start:

  1. Join us at our Guns and Hoses Dodgeball awareness and fundraising event on April 13th at Macatawa Bay Middle School Gym from 12:00p to 3:00p. This event is open to the public and all proceeds will go to the Children’s Advocacy Center’s efforts to eradicate child abuse in our community. A special thanks to our local police and fire departments who are sure to be locked in friendly competition.

  2. Visit our Prevention page at the CAC website to see a variety of training options and tools that you can implement today: http://www.cac-ottawa.org/prevention/

  3. Get more information about our national, evidence-based Darkness To Light adult training that focuses on how to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. More information and registration can be found at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/D2Lregistration

  4. Visit www.childwelfare.gov/topics/preventing/preventionmonth/ to get more tips and tools that you can begin implementing today.

  5. Most importantly, do not let your voice go unheard!


  1. Townsend, C., & Rheingold, A.A., (2013). Estimating a child sexual abuse prevalence rate for practitioners: studies. Charleston,S.C., Darkness to Light. Retrieved from www.D2L.org.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month!

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.

MDT Members, Detective Tyler Kempema and Detective Dave Bytwerk plant pinwheels at the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department

MDT Members, Detective Tyler Kempema and Detective Dave Bytwerk plant pinwheels at the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department

Board Member Pat VerDuin and Exectuive Director Darcy Komejan plant pinwheels

Board Member Pat VerDuin and Exectuive Director Darcy Komejan plant pinwheels

Members of the Ottawa County SCAN Council

Members of the Ottawa County SCAN Council

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!

Teisha Kothe, principal at Blue Star Elementary, Hamilton Community Schools.

Teisha Kothe, principal at Blue Star Elementary, Hamilton Community Schools.

Woodbridge Elementary, Zeeland Public Schools

Woodbridge Elementary, Zeeland Public Schools

Adams Elementary, Zeeland Public School

Adams Elementary, Zeeland Public School

 

Our community partners are displaying pinwheel potted gardens at their workplaces and businesses to help raise awareness that #preventionispossible. 

Cook's Kitchen & Pantry in Grand Haven  http://cookskitchenandpantry.com/

Cook's Kitchen & Pantry in Grand Haven http://cookskitchenandpantry.com/

We are also selling our Keep Calm and Protect Children t-shirts again this year!  Purchase yours here.

staff keep calm jump.jpg

 

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.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

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!