Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg announced the city’s designation this week as a 2021 Pinwheel City during Child Abuse Prevention Month. Pinwheels are the national symbol of happy, healthy childhoods.
Representatives from Children’s Trust and Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center spoke about awareness and the importance of preventing child abuse and neglect. Tecklenburg, Children’s Trust CEO Sue Williams and Dee Norton Executive Director/CEO Carole Campbell Swiecicki attended the event at Colonial Lake. Children’s Trust is the S.C. affiliate of Prevent Child Abuse America.
As reported by WCSC-TV Live 5 News, Williams noted the need for prevention efforts that reach families upstream before the crisis of abuse occurs. She pointed to the importance of connecting families with community resources.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified the need to overhaul the current system into a 21st century well-being system approach, where families seeking help are seen as showing strength and resiliency instead of stigmatized or portrayed negatively,” she said.
Swiecicki discussed how parents must be willing to have open conversations with their children.
“You have the opportunity to take this April as a chance to say: What are you talking to your child about with boundaries? Ask the children in your life if they have rules about body safety,” she said. “Ask them who they will tell if someone breaks a child safety boundary rule. Be a safe adult for them. Tell them that you are someone they can tell if someone breaks that rule.”