Pinwheels to symbolize Carson City's abused children

Carson City has the sad distinction of being a city in which two children suffered years of unspeakable abuse at the hands of their family.

Jasmine and David were freed from the torture in 2006 by the sharp eye of a passerby, and child advocates hope a display of hundreds of pinwheels being set up on the grounds of the Nevada Legislature will move others to action.

"We will be planting 422 pinwheels, each one symbolizing a report of child abuse or neglect in Carson City in 2006," said Chrystal Main, spokeswoman for the Nevada Division of Child and Family Service. "What we hope is that people recognize that child abuse is an increasing problem throughout the state and if they suspect, for whatever reasons, abuse or neglect they should contact the authorities."

Called Pinwheels for Prevention, the planting is scheduled in 11 Nevada counties, in recognition of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. Across the state more than 15,000 pinwheels will be planted in front of courthouses, government offices, playgrounds, libraries and parks.

Main said the increase in child abuse may be related to drug abuse.

"As a community and actually as a state now, we are really worried because the increase of methamphetamine use is directly related to the number of reports of child abuse and neglect," she said. "Methamphetamine has played a part in the environment of that child."

In Clark County, 667 children were removed from their homes due to substance-abuse issues with the parents. Washoe County reports 132 children were abused in connection with drug abuse and in rural Nevada, of which Carson City is a part, 70 children suffered because of drug use in their homes.

"In rural Nevada from October 2006 to December 2006, 55 children entered foster care; of these cases, 31 were due to drug abuse," Main said.

The pinwheel planting will begin at 10 a.m., and legislators, private citizens, Advocates to End Domestic Violence and child and family services employees will take part.

• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at or 881-1213.


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