Pinwheels for Prevention: Lubbock works to end child abuse - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Pinwheels for Prevention: Lubbock works to end child abuse

Source: KCBD Photo Source: KCBD Photo

Saturday, April 1, marks the first day of National Child Abuse Prevention Month for this year, an effort that hits close to home, as Lubbock County saw 1,033 cases of confirmed abuse in 2016.

The first 200 pinwheels of the overall 1,033, set to be placed near downtown Lubbock, fill the courtyard at UMC right now, in hopes of bringing awareness to the problem.

"It's a visual representation of our commitment to bring awareness," Nancy Leal, the Department Director of Pediatrics and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at UMC, said.

Sadly, child abuse is something Leal sees all too often.

"We do see them as they come in and most times it's in their most vulnerable states," Leal said.

According to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, while last year's 1,033 confirmed cases in Lubbock County were a decrease from the 1,138 confirmed the year before, 8 percent of those victims suffer from documented recurring abuse.

For Sandi Turner,  director and Founder of Sondra's Song, a program that helps kids who age out of the foster system, Pinwheel Prevention is crucial for a city that's recognized for being so friendly.

"It's just sad, because you do, you hear we are friendly, you walk around, anybody will tell you hi, anybody's ready to strike up a conversation and then here, you hear all these statistics that there's so many child abuse cases," Turner said.

"I just wish we could snap our fingers and it would be done. But all we can do is keep chugging along," Turner said.

Leal said the most important part in preventing child abuse, is remembering anyone can be a hero.

"You might not be in a hospital, taking care of a kiddo that's sick, but you might have a neighbor that you notice is having trouble, or struggling, or you might see somebody at the store, or wherever you are and you have to be constantly aware," Leal said.

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