Walking to bring more awareness
For eight years, county residents have marched for child abuse prevention and awareness in an activity sponsored by the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe’s Youth and Family Services.
This year about 100 people walked from Oats Park to Fox Peak and once at their destination, people of all ages planted pinwheels to signify the importance of preventing child abuse. Each year the walk is conducted before the tribe’s annual Earth Day celebration.
FPST Secretary Laura Ijames said the walk educates both children and adults about the perils of child abuse and how the community can come together to prevent it. As a result of the outreach, she said more people are coming forward in talking and reporting instances of child abuse.
“It’s not so much a hidden agenda now,” Ijames said before walking the short distance to Fox Peak. “If people see something, they are more willing to reach out and get help. We have a lot more community outreach to help the tribe, the county and city.”
Jennifer Pishion, director of Youth and Family Services, said more people participate in the walk and other activities.
“The pinwheels brings awareness,” Pishion said, adding her department is also in other activities to spread the word. “We participate in any informational events such as health fairs and walks.”
She also said each pinwheel is for all children, not for a separate child or report. In addition to bringing more awareness to child abuse, Pishion said Youth and Family Services also handles incidences involving elder abuse and crisis intervention.
Lisa Christy, one of many parents walking, said events such as this make people more aware of what to look for in abuse cases and how to access resources to help others.
“It’s more OK to talk about it now,” she said. “If kids have problems, people will listen to them more. We need to break the cycle of passing abuse from one generation to another … breaking it so it can change.”