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Darien display highlights child abuse and neglect

Published 9:33 am, Friday, April 6, 2012

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  • Members of theYouth Corps, a volunteer program sponsored by Kids in Crisis, placed 1,864 pinwheels in the ground outside the Darien Library to symbolize in recognition of National Child Abuse Awareness Month. Photo: Ben Holbrook
    Members of theYouth Corps, a volunteer program sponsored by Kids in Crisis, placed 1,864 pinwheels in the ground outside the Darien Library to symbolize in recognition of National Child Abuse Awareness Month. Photo: Ben Holbrook

 

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Members of Kids in Crisis and the Youth Corps gathered at the Darien Library to install more than 1,800 pinwheels to recognize children who have been victims of abuse or neglect.

The Pinwheels for Prevention Project started in 2009 in Greenwich and has rotated through Fairfield County each year. The purpose of the pinwheels is to present a visual representation of the number of children in the state who have been abused or neglected. Kristen Tomasiewicz, associate director of community services for Kids in Crisis, said people don't always realize how prevalent abuse is in Fairfield County and the pinwheels serve as a reminder.

"The 1,864 pinwheels represent the substantiated reports of abuse or neglect in 2011," Tomasiewicz said. "What that number doesn't include are the unsubstantiated reports or the unreported incidents."

The Youth Corps members were also shocked at the statistics when they first discussed the project.

"The Youth Corps members are motivated to help the kids who are abused or neglected. When we first started discussing this project, I passed around a sheet with statistics on it and they were stunned," Tomasiewicz said. "You could have heard a pin drop."

Pinwheels for Prevention was displayed until April 5, but Tomasiewicz said she hopes the message resonates far longer with residents.

"We would love to do a display in each town in Fairfield County. We're hopeful this display will have an impact," she said. "Abuse and neglect don't know cultural, racial or financial borders."

For more information about the services provided by Kids in Crisis visit www.kidsincrisis.org.

bholbrook@bcnnew.com; twitter.com/bholbrooknews; 203-972-4407