By Jordan Cioppa
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – The Town of Mount Pleasant is teaming up with the Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center and Children’s Trust of South Carolina to put an end to child abuse.
On Tuesday, Mount Pleasant was declared a ‘Pinwheel City,’ as part of Child Abuse Prevention Month. Pinwheels now line the front of Town Hall, showing support for the cause.
“These pinwheels symbolize the innocence of childhood and help raise awareness of the importance of preventing childhood abuse,” said Mayor Will Haynie.
According to officials, Dee Norton assisted more than 800 children in the Lowcountry in 2021, 80 of whom were in Mount Pleasant. In the same year, nearly 16,000 children in South Carolina were founded in investigations of maltreatment.
Beverly Hutchison is the Executive Director of Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center. She said child abuse was less likely to be reported during the pandemic.
“They were not in school, they were not in sports, they were not in church groups and youth activities. “So, that isolation has done a number of things. One; there were less eyes on children, so there was less likely reports of concerns about child abuse,” said Hutchison.
By taking this initiative, officials hope people will educate themselves on child abuse and speak up if they see something.
“The children I see every day at the Dee Norton Advocacy Center are beautifully resilient when adults do what they need to do, which is part of the whole prevention effort this month,” said Hutchison. “We want to prevent it, but when abuse does occur, we want to make sure the adults know exactly what to do and who to turn to.”
Dee Norton officials encourage people to visit their website to learn more about prevention and what to do if a child is experiencing abuse.