Today, Friday, April 1, 2016 a press conference was held to raise awareness of child abuse and neglect. The community initiative, Paint Our Town Blue, takes place at the Genesee County Circuit Court at 900 Saginaw Street in Flint. At this press conference, community leaders such as the Honorable Duncan Beagle and Genesee County Sheriff, Robert Pickell, spoke out about these issues that are affecting the community.
The pinwheel dedication that followed the press conference symbolizes the need of child abuse prevention efforts to keep local children safe. The color blue and the pinwheel are nationally-recognized symbols of child abuse prevention. Paint Our Town Blue will run through the month of April, which is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.
“Child Abuse in Genesee County continues to rise,” said Sheriff Pickell. “We all have to be intentional about preventing child abuse in our county. Everyone can help by raising awareness to this growing epidemic, joining the Paint the Town Blue movement, and signing up for classes to learn how to prevent child abuse.”
To continue this awareness throughout the whole month of April, community members are invited to wear blue clothing on Wear Blue Day – Friday, April 15. A candlelight vigil will be held on April 27 at 7 pm to remember the children who have lost their lives as a result of abuse and neglect.
Paint Our Town Blue is a public awareness campaign, presented by Priority Children, Weiss Advocacy Center, and Whaley Children Center. Their aim is to education and raise attention to child abuse and neglect’s prevalence, and the long-term impacts in has on child development, as well as social and economic conditions in our whole community.
To learn more, go to PaintOurTownBlue.org or call Samantha Roth, Director of Marketing at Whaley Children’s Center, at 810-234-3603.
Photography by Eric Dutro