Pinwheels symbolize local abuse cases |

Pinwheels symbolize local abuse cases

Andrew Pridgen
Appeal Staff Writer
Cathleen Allison/Nevada AppealCarson High School senior Alexandra Mercer helps Rebekah Rhea, 5, place pinwheels on the Legislative lawn Tuesday afternoon as part of Child Abuse Awareness Month. The 492 pinwheels represent investigated cases of child abuse in Carson City in 2007.

Motorists driving by the Legislative lawn today may notice the refraction from rows of spinning pinwheels.

The pinwheels, part of a project to recognize the number of outstanding child abuse cases in Carson City, is a reminder to all residents that the cycle can be broken, officials said Tuesday.

“The entire month of April is Child Abuse Prevention Month,” said Chrystal Main, systems advocate for the Nevada Division of Child and Family Services. “These (pinwheels) are symbolic of child abuse cases.”

Some 492 pinwheels were planted.

“It was a collaborative effort today,” Main said Tuesday. “And through the (pinwheels) people become more aware.”

Indeed, after last year’s event – the first in Carson City – calls reporting domestic violence incidents went up in her office, said Rhonda Roth, a coordinator for Advocates to End Domestic Violence, a Nevada-based nonprofit.

Advocates to End Domestic Violence and state workers were joined Tuesday afternoon by local Girl Scouts, parents and three Carson High seniors planting the pinwheels and talking about domestic violence.

Carson senior Alexandra Mercer chose the effort as her senior project.

“I think all of us that are here … want to help make a difference,” she said.

Mercer along with Saira Lazaro and Lilly Carter, all 18, have been volunteering at local help agencies and shadowing case workers this year as part of their projects.

“It’s a really important and personal thing for all of us,” Carter said. “I’ve gotten to see what a case worker does.

“I’m going to school next year in hopes of become a psychologist. It’s this experience that’s gotten me there.”

Division of Child and Family Services spokeswoman Main reiterated raising awareness of child abuse and domestic violence issues through the pinwheels can result in an increased workload.

“Getting more reports isn’t necessarily a bad thing,” she said. “We just want to underscore how important it is for people to report every incident.”

• Contact reporter Andrew Pridgen at or 881-1219.

If you need help

The 24-hour hotline for Advocates to End Domestic Violence is 883-7654.

Reporting child abuse or neglect through Nevada Department of Health and Human Services Child and Family Services can be done by calling (800) 992-5757.


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